The demand for increased flexibility and agility is propelling enterprises to look beyond traditional infrastructure and move toward a more flexible cloud-based model. While Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) remains popular among enterprises, demand for other As-a-Service models is also on the rise. For example, preference for applications, based on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is pushing traditional software vendors/ providers to move their packaged applications to the cloud. Digital workplace services that offer mobile workplace solutions, with a highly secure work-from-home environment, represent another example. Furthermore, with the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a shortage of IT personnel for support, enterprises are leveraging cloud capabilities to check, maintain, and monitor their applications and data remotely and efficiently.
Cloud computing, also known as Internet-based computing, has been around for several decades. The origin of cloud technology can be traced to the 1950s, and, since then, it has transformed from an elementary form of virtualization to what we are accustomed to in today’s cloud environment. In 2006, AWS launched its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, allowing organizations and individuals to rent virtual computers through which they could access their own programs and applications – thus began the era of modern cloud computing. Over the past decade or so, cloud computing has evolved from something that service providers have advised companies to adopt, to becoming the very lifeblood for most modern enterprises. Enterprises are increasingly getting accustomed to the pay -as-you-go cloud billing model and are now seeing IT purchases as a day-to-day expense, and not as a one-time investment they will be stuck with for the foreseeable future.
While the impact of the pandemic has been felt across industries, some have been harder hit than others. Also, traditional enterprises that preferred on-premises infrastructure have faced multiple challenges, leading to significant disruption in client services. The dynamic and uncertain business environment has created the need for scalability, implementation speed and improved governance to address risk and compliance requirements. This has led to a shift toward interconnected, integrated, and managed multicloud systems. In this scenario, firms with a mature cloud strategy that included a mix of on -premises, private, and public cloud computing assets were well positioned to withstand the wave of disruption with zero outages or service disruptions. Workloads on the cloud also helped these organizations deliver the computing power needed, both to handle a remote workforce, and to run a high volume of critical data transactions, securely and seamlessly.
In the face of this disruption, hyperscalers such as AWS have played a critical role in helping enterprises,
particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), navigate the challenges. AWS offered free credits,
for a specific duration, to SMEs that could not afford to pay their cloud bills. For a few, they also put
payment plans in place or offered discounts for using their cloud services.
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