Offering security, transparency, mobility, and sustainability, cloud technologies are now mainstream, gaining momentum in markets hard hit by COVID-19. What do they offer, how they benefit customers every day, and what does the future hold for cloud innovation?As the use of cloud technologies continues to grow globally across sectors, the opportunities for innovative and secure implementation of cloud-based solutions are more engaging than ever. Gartner predicts that end-user spending on public cloud services will grow 18.4% in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020.
Acceleration driven by COVID-19
Wolters Kluwer has seen an uptick in professionals’ interest and comfort with cloud technologies across four industries - healthcare, finance, tax & accounting and legal & regulatory. Increased security, automated updates, greater transparency and mobility for customers, as well as more consistent costs, are just some of the reasons that companies are migrating solutions to the cloud. In the past year alone, Wolters Kluwer has seen an almost 20% organic increase in cloud revenues.
Wolters Kluwer CEO Nancy McKinstry believes that the disruption wrought by COVID-19 has pushed forward the need for cloud technologies in particular. “There's a high demand for digital transformation,” said McKinstry in a recent interview. “While many of our customers were already on that journey, there are always slow adopters in any market, and I think now the vast majority of customers recognize they have to move digitally. Even customers that historically were reluctant to move to the cloud are now saying, 'We recognize the advantages of the cloud,' so I think that that we're going to see an acceleration of cloud adoption.”
Accessible, flexible, and secure
“Fundamentally, the cloud offers organizations two main advantages,” says Greg Tatham, Senior Vice President & CTO of Platform Technology at Wolters Kluwer. “Cloud technology allows organizations to focus on the value they're delivering to their clients rather than on operating IT infrastructure, and they can incorporate innovative tools and techniques faster. Where we can help solve customer pain points, Wolters Kluwer is shifting to deliver more of our solutions from the cloud to bring these advantages to our customers.”
“Cloud solutions are available anywhere, at any time, to support a global workforce and the location-independence required during the pandemic,” adds Tatham. “Cloud solutions can be rapidly delivered to customers without requiring them to have an IT department or to acquire and manage IT infrastructure, and these grow elastically along with our customers' businesses and service needs. These solutions are robust, secure and highly available.”
“Wolters Kluwer cloud solutions allow our customers to keep pace with new regulations, evidence and risks and receive innovative new capabilities on a regular basis without having to manage upgrades. Through APIs and integrations with other cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, we extend the solutions to provide value deeper into our customers' key workflows,” Tatham adds.
During 2020, cloud technologies enabled Wolters Kluwer to take significant steps in a data center consolidation program to help reduce carbon emissions in coming years. The program decommissioned 11 data centers while transitioning applications to the cloud. The migration of products and internal systems from on-premise servers to more energy-efficient cloud platforms resulted in a net reduction in carbon emissions.
The Enablon suite of solutions also includes greenhouse gas emissions software to help our customers become more green by tracking corporate emissions data.
Future cloud innovation
While migration to the cloud has been driven by urgent demands due to the pandemic, the long-term benefits offered will keep converts on board.
“I think many of the positive trends around cloud computing, around virtual learning, virtual meetings, and virtual selling will stay,” says McKinstry. “Some things will, of course, return to the way they were, but I think elements will remain. We have found, once our customers work in a digital way, once they're in the cloud, they thrive. It also makes it easy for us to serve them anywhere, anytime with products and services that can push immediate updates to them and extend to meet their needs.”
A key part of our strategic planning through 2021 involves a continued commitment to cloud solutions for our customers and employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has given a fresh insight into this commitment and its importance, and the benefits it brings every day. Quick and convenient access to rapidly changing information and updates make cloud a resilience-boosting choice for many as conditions continue to shift.