As Covid spread throughout the world, the cloud was one of the beneficiaries. People have been forced into telecommuting, so it does not come as a major surprise. The cloud was already on a strong growth trajectory prior to Covid turning into a major pandemic. But, how much did Covid enhance this trajection? It is hard to know for sure, but there is no question that it has had a major influence.
When we analyze the data, the cloud has been the rage for some time. More and more businesses were shifting their infrastructure to AWS, and more recently Azure. Thus, it was not a surprise to see the quarterly numbers reflect this. The numbers did tend to waffle a little going back to 2017 and 2018, but there was still upward momentum. However, we really started to see liftoff in 2019. Each quarter resulted in about a 5-10% uptick in the numbers we analyzed. Much like a plane gaining altitude after takeoff, the chart for cloud infrastructure had a similar line.
Then, Covid took over the world. Everybody was forced into hiding, while still trying to maintain as much output as prior to the virus becoming every nations top agenda. Whether it be Zoom or Netflix, the “stay at home” companies became all the rage. It was as if we were never going to be able to move around freely again. This notion put pressure on companies to accelerate their cloud initiatives. And that they did.
Whereby we were watching a plane take off before, we quickly transitioned to watching a SpaceX rocket take off. The typical 5-10% quarterly increase in cloud numbers turned into 20-30% uptick. As mentioned before, not necessarily surprising, but that kind of move in a short time frame had not been witnessed before. Especially for something that had become fairly established.
Will it continue? That is the question that only time can answer. It is pretty easy to predict the cloud numbers will still move in a northernly fashion. The cloud is here to stay after all. What will be interesting to watch is just how aggressive the numbers move. I have heard some CEO's of leading companies say recently they expect office space for their particular companies can probably be reduced by 20-30%. And, that is just off the top. Without any detailed analysis. Surely, the number will likely go higher after they let the consultants walk through the door.
But, people will still work in the same cubicles as before in some capacity. In person collaboration is needed to complete certain tasks. However, the business world has been turned on its axis. This is a defining moment for businesses to become as efficient as possible. Most have had a chance at a fresh start if they have been able to weather the storm. We will all sit back and watch where the post Covid world leads us to. However it ends up, the cloud will play an important role.