The Cloud: a strategic factor in the Covid-19 emergency and in the reopening

Head of Communication Team

In a profoundly changed scenario following the pandemic, digital technologies – and in particular the Cloud – have taken on an even more strategic role because they allow for the continuation of business operations.

Among the effects of the Covid-19 emergency is the growth in the adoption of the Cloud, which has proved to be a determining factor in responding quickly to a very complex situation that affected the economic and social system of our country. Today the Cloud market in Italy is worth € 3.34 billion, with an increase of 21% from the 2.77 billion in 2019. Among the SMEs, historically the most reluctant to this technological choice, the adoption of the Cloud jumped up by 42%, compared to a growth trend that has stood at 30% for years. Such are the data provided by the Cloud Transformation Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano and recently presented.

Determining this acceleration was the emergency situation that forced companies and the Public Administration to work in an agile way, interacting remotely with their workers and providing company applications. A tactical choice, dictated by a specific need, which turned out to be correct because companies were able to quickly respond to the needs of collaboration, project management and customer relations.

The Cloud as a strategic way and not just a tactical one

The phase we are now going through – which still shows a rise in the number of infections and the need for an extension of smart working activities – is sounding alarm bells on the need to make the choice of the Cloud strategic. In other words, in order to fully grasp the benefits of the agility and innovation that the Cloud can offer, it is necessary – both for supply and demand – to “transform the awareness built as a response to the emergency into a medium-long term vision that places digital at the center and recognizes the Cloud as the linchpin to make the organization ready to transform”, as stated by Stefano Mainetti, Scientific Director of the Cloud Transformation Observatory.

The growth of the Public & Hybrid Cloud

According to the Observatory’s estimates, the Public & Hybrid Cloud, which includes the set of services offered by external providers and the interconnection between public and private Cloudservices, confirms its leading position with a growth of 30% and a value that reaches 2 billion euro. A more dramatic acceleration than the international average, which shows + 8% for a global market worth 198 billion dollars. Another positive dynamic is that of the Virtual & Hosted Private Cloud (+11% for a total of 732 million euros), while the Datacenter Automation component, i.e. the modernization of on-premises infrastructures, grows by +6% for a total of 583 million euros.

Manufacturing remains the most significant sector (24% of the overall market), followed by the banking sector (21%), Telco and Media (15%), Services (10%), Utilities (9%), PA and Healthcare (8%), GDO and Retail (8%) and Insurance (5%).

How Cloud models move

Different Cloud models are showing different trends. Software as a Service (SaaS) services grow the most (+46%): these categories of services allowed companies to remain operational even during the emergency (Collaboration, Document Management, B2c/eCommerce portals and Analytics) and today come to represent half of the total expenditure in Public & Hybrid Cloud. The Platform as a Service (PaaS) model shows +22% and is driven by the growth of the features that enable Big Data Analytics, both for the increase in online activities and the data generated and for the growing and transversal need to interconnect processes and monitor them. The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) component is also growing, rising by +16% and worth 36% of the total expenditure today, with an increase in virtual machines for production environments and container management.

The road to the Hybrid Cloud and the role of partners

While some of the new application projects are born in the Cloud, there is also a strong need to transform the corporate legacy towards the cloud model. According to data from the Cloud Transformation Observatory, 11% of large enterprises no longer have their own datacenter because they moved it to a private and/or public Cloud. Another 27% plan to progressively migrate all their legacy. Additionally, 50% plan to implement a hybrid strategy, where part of the legacy will migrate to the Cloud and the rest will remain on-premise. A 12% share of businesses will choose a completely on-premises strategy.

Nowadays, companies are faced with the need to rethink business models on a digital basis and with the possibility of exploiting the Cloud as a tool to acquire agility and resilience. For some, in particular the smaller companies, the complexity of the path or the absence of specific vertical skills can be a potential brake. Italtel stands alongside companies to support them in the path to the Cloud, by starting from the analysis of customer needs and continuing with an assessment of existing situations to build a long-term vision and a project for evolution towards the Cloud.

To companies that choose to adopt Cloud models, Italtel offers reliability and skills to avoid lock in and allow the secure and centralized management of hybrid environments. The scenarios that Italtel addresses are “embrace multi Cloud,” which deals with the design of the migration of applications to the Cloud, ensuring interoperability between public and private Cloud, and “re-invent the Data Center,” which focuses on designing the evolution of private Data Center in terms of automation and management tools for opening up to hybrid Cloud environments and smart operations.

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