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Channel partners’ cloud opportunities see a boost

 

The cloud’s strengths on display

Indeed, the global shutdown has illustrated the value of being cloud-centric. From the comfort of their homes, a vast majority of workers have accessed cloud-based applications for marketing, sales, finance, human resources and many other business functions, while developers have built and deployed applications using cloud-based containers.

“Companies running on cloud were able to scale to demand in a short time,” said Jeff Aden, executive vice president of marketing and business strategic development at 2nd Watch, a Seattle-based managed cloud services provider. “Seeing the elasticity of cloud and the way it is supposed to flex with demand, companies that were early adopters benefitted from having more of their mission-critical applications on the cloud.”

AFS Logistics in Shreveport, La., is one such company. The global logistics management services firm runs a hybrid infrastructure, which aims to make the most of legacy on-premises systems while relying on cloud services such as Microsoft Azure. AFS also uses cloud-native technologies such as containers for creating applications that handle customer service and product delivery.

“Our engineers don’t have to be with the hardware,” said Tony Winters, director of software engineering at AFS Logistics. “It’s all web-delivered, and we can adjust and scale from our home offices. We made the decision to shift to cloud a while ago, but the pandemic only confirms the benefits.”

In turn, some companies with a small cloud footprint have found it difficult to conduct business remotely, several analysts said. IT staff managing on-premises data centers, in particular, have struggled to do their jobs, as many were limited “If IT has a work-from-home mandate, it’s very difficult for them to view the data center,” said Mark Bowker, a senior analyst at research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), based in Milford, Mass. “Lack of access leads to security issues.” Additionally, because of disruptions in the supply chain, companies have had to tolerate long delays for on-site hardware, he said.

 

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