Is the hype over, now that the cloud storm has blown over?
14 January 2022
Whether organizations opt for cloud is no longer a question, but a matter of course. Cloud adoption has attained a level of maturity. So has the hype settled down?
Data from British IT research company Context shows that almost 50% of European resellers are gearing up for a significant cloud push to meet customer demand for digital transformation. The time when organizations wondered whether they should move their IT landscape to the cloud is now officially over. The cloud is no longer a distinguishing feature; as almost everything is moving to the cloud. Organizations are now rather posing the question whether they should migrate their entire landscape to the cloud themselves. Cloud adoption has reached a new phase. Is the hype over?
All grown up now
The cloud is no longer a destination in itself, suggesting that cloud adoption has reached a certain level of maturity. The pandemic has created permanent changes in the market that requires organizations to accelerate their cloud transformation. This acceleration has everything to do with the (necessary) decentralization of data, applications and users. At the same time, organizations need to look more critically at which processes, applications and data are going to the cloud. And whether a 'standard' SaaS solution will suffice, or whether their own cloud infrastructure needs to be built for specific (core) processes.
Roughly speaking, we can say that between 2010 and 2020, the first "cloud wave" occurred. This was a long wave movement that focused on the question of whether organizations should move to the cloud. Which parts of the it-landscape are appropriate to move to the cloud? Why do we need to switch to an operational cost model, and why do we need that flexibility? Those were some of the sub-questions that dominated the discussion at the time.
In the second wave - which essentially began with the outbreak of the corona crisis - the cloud has long since ceased to be a distinguishing theme. By now, everything is going to the cloud. The increasing 'SaaSification' of IT has caused organizations to wonder more and more whether they should bring everything to the cloud themselves. More and more deliberate choices are being made on how to bring a particular process or application to the cloud. It is expected that SaaS will be even more prevalent in the near future than we are already used to.
Innovative technology hyperscalers
Organizations would do well to standardize processes where possible by using 'best of breed' SaaS solutions. Think for example of tools for HR, itsm, logistics and collaboration processes. This creates more room to focus all attention on optimizing an organization's core processes, allowing it to truly distinguish itself.
The highly innovative cloud platform and infrastructure services of the larger hyperscalers can help to further innovate such processes. Think of innovative technologies such as geographic tooling for gps/maps, data services, AI services, etc. These hyperscalers can help to onboard the very latest (cloud) technologies and implement them within the IT and application landscape.
The application of saas solutions and innovative technologies does require a different mindset. For example, retailers should no longer want to invent the optimal delivery process all by themselves. There are several large logistics software companies in the market that have fully automated these processes and can easily implement them within the organization. This offers the opportunity to invest in the processes that allow the retailer to set itself apart. By focusing on optimizing core processes, and choosing 'standard processes' from third-party SaaS solutions, organizations can make the difference.
The expectation is that in the years to come, we will not experience cloud waves as we are currently used to. Technology will only become further integrated into our lives, and the evolution of it will be a continual process of innovation. The cloud will be less and less a technological topic, and its infrastructure will become more and more of a commodity. This leads us to conclude that the cloud has now finally outgrown its hype.
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