An acceleration in businesses adopting cloud computing IT is one of the ‘most likely’ changes in how companies cope in response to the coronavirus outbreak, claims one analyst.

Digital transformation is already a structural shift for most businesses and public sector organisations thanks to its operational and cost flexibility. This allows many people to work relatively seamlessly from home during periods of self-quarantine or area-wide lockdown, such as being seen in Italy right now.

‘We share the view that the future of IT is multi-cloud and hybrid,’ said Stifel’s respected technology analyst George O’Connor. ‘We also believe that pragmatic companies will, post the lockdown period, never waste a good crisis and begin to plan for the post crisis world.’

O’Connor was among the delegates at the CIO Leaders forum in London last week (5 March), a biannual event for London’s IT community. CIO stands for chief information officers, the people who typically run an organisation’s IT and communications infrastructure.


Hoping to ‘take the temperature’ of IT buyers, the CIO of one of London’s largest insurance companies (unnamed) was on hand to talk through its journey to a hybrid cloud environment. Hybrid cloud is using a mixture of servers located in a firm’s own facilities as opposed to servers placed in a third party data centre.

‘Today 51% of their applications are in the cloud and 80% is the desired outcome’, said O’Connor of this particular insurance company.

‘Cost (perceived and actual) combined with the ability to ‘do new things quickly’ will ensure accelerated cloud adoption post the crisis as companies use it as a catalyst to increase the use of machine-to-machine processes in areas like sales & marketing, customer support and experience as robots hasten their move.

‘This will hasten digital transformation, the use of shared-data IT architectures, public cloud, open APIs (application programming interfaces) and conversational UIs (user interfaces)’, said the analyst.

There are many FTSE 350 companies helping a variety of client organisations with this transformation to the cloud, including AVEVA (AVV), Computacenter (CCC), FDM (FDM), Kainos (KNOS) and Softcat (SCT), plus a multitude of small companies and those listed on the AIM junior market.

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Issue Date: 10 Mar 2020