How cloud played a vital role during the pandemic

‘The UK’s competitive and vibrant cloud computing industry stands ready, willing and able to support businesses’
By Julian David, Chief executive, techUK

A year ago, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, techUK published an article about how the UK cloud computing industry was ready, willing and able to support UK organisations’ switch to remote working. We highlighted the scalability the cloud provides, reliable connectivity and that the cloud has been supporting the UK workforce to become more mobile and capable to embrace new ways of working for many years. 

Now, as we reflect on the last 12 months, what is clear is during the pandemic cloud computing has played a vital role in keeping businesses going, supporting us all to remain digitally connected while we have been, and for now at least remain, physically apart. 

Cloud has provided vital support to public and private sector organisations that needed to increase data processing and management capabilities at speed, helping bodies to access real-time data when it was most needed. 

Both global organisations and small and medium-sized enterprises supplying cloud services have increased their operations seemingly overnight, providing essential computing resources, infrastructure and data-storage solutions in a safe and secure way to a nation switching to remote working. 

In the weeks and months ahead, as the focus for businesses turns to how to rebuild and recover from the pandemic, what is also becoming clear is the important role the cloud will have in supporting UK companies as the economy and society begin to reopen and the crucial post-COVID recovery begins. 

The good news is we saw a significant increase in digital transformation by organisations in 2020. Part of the digital transformation seen in the UK has been due to an increase in investment and adoption of cloud-based services and technologies, not just by businesses already using the cloud, but also by smaller companies that had still not started their cloud journey. 

Organisations that were still perhaps thinking about digital transformation due to understanding, skills and knowledge, accelerated their plans and invested particularly in cloud to keep their operations going. 

What this means now is more UK businesses can access computing services, power and resources that will enable them to be agile and responsive to changes in the market and consumer habits and trends. By investing, adopting and deploying cloud services and technologies last year, organisations will have put in place the digital infrastructure that can support the use of more cutting-edge digital innovations such as intelligent automation, edge computing and artificial intelligence as and when they are ready. 

Right now, business leaders who invested in cloud last year will be asking how this can help them move forward, recover quicker and perhaps even reinvent their operations, and by doing so leapfrog the competition in months ahead. 

Just as we saw at the start of the pandemic, the UK’s competitive and vibrant cloud computing industry stands ready, willing and able to support UK businesses in this mission. 

However, with organisations’ use of cloud computing services expected to develop and mature at pace, it is important that the increased use of cloud is done in a safe and secure way. This is essential, given that just as the use of cloud computing has increased in 2020, so have the cybersecurity risks and the complexity of attacks focused on cloud services. 

This is why in the coming weeks techUK will publish a guide to offer information, advice and support to business leaders looking to increase and scale up their use of cloud services, as part of their post-COVID recovery strategy, in a secure and safe way. Please visit our website to get in touch and get involved.