Preparing for 2021: The acceleration of the cloud

14 Dec 2020

Image: © juhrozian /

One of the biggest elements of digital transformation in 2020 has been a move to cloud computing. How will this shape 2021?

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent remote working revolution has turned cloud computing from a nice-to-have into a need-to-have for many businesses.

But after months of having to adjust to new systems and processes on the fly, businesses are now in a position to look ahead to 2021 and somewhat plan accordingly.

With this in mind, heard from Avanade’s Eric Bouguen about what to expect from 2021 and beyond when it comes to working and doing business in the cloud.

He said the main priority for C-suite level teams is to find rapid solutions to reduce costs while embracing the new digital economy. “Cloud computing is the most obvious proven answer,” he said.

However, Bouguen added that while large organisations have been busy improving their processes, the hierarchical silos between IT and business have remained. “Their current operating model isn’t organised in the right way to change their mindset,” he said. “They now have to be prepared for anything and shaped to adapt and evolve.”

As businesses look ahead to 2021, Bouguen said that cloud computing must be a business agenda. “Considering cloud computing as an IT-only topic creates a risk in not being agile enough to adapt to the rapid evolution of the society,” he said.

“Cloud computing must activate the full power of organisation and ecosystem to unlock operational efficiencies and create new revenue streams in response to changing market dynamics. As companies rethink their business, they must look for opportunities to reuse existing capabilities to drive new revenue streams and continually test and learn to turn their strategic bets into outcomes.”

He added that cloud journeys must be transformational in nature, meaning they need to allow for companies to adapt and evolve their plans at scale and speed. “Not only can this help propel companies through the current crisis, it can lead to increased, sustainable growth,” he said.

Advice for businesses

Many businesses will be well aware of the need to adapt and embrace cloud computing, but the journey can appear overwhelming at the beginning. However, Bouguen said it’s vital to avoid being stuck in the early stages.

“An intelligent cloud journey needs to balance speed and value. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, each should start with defining the value, mapping out the journey and determining how cloud will enable the overall business strategy and ambition.”

He also highlighted the three most typical challenges that businesses come across are cost, skills and security. Businesses can make savings and reinvest in order to overcome cost issues, while external partners can often bridge the skills gap.

Security, Bouguen said, must be considered a priority by organisations and added that cloud computing does provide the required security functions to implement what is required. “The EU has paved the way in formalising a common framework to start with, intending to protect citizens. Businesses who embrace privacy as a core principle in their culture and ethic will tap into the demand from the society to care about their privacy.”

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic