Why the cloud is more critical for business success than ever before


By Gareth Smith, CTO of Eggplant 

Like most technology, the adoption of cloud infrastructure has been hastened by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enterprises are boosting the move to the cloud due to this, and according to Deloitte, 80 percent state the cloud is expected to be the most relevant technology ever.

However, the extent of the growth of cloud infrastructure has shocked even the experts – in October this year, IT analysts Synergy Research Group revealed that the cloud infrastructure services market hit $32.8bn of spending, an increase of 33% year on year. Adding to this, tech giants such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft both reported a large increase of around a third in revenue derived specifically from their cloud sectors.

It is true to say that while the large increase is shocking, the fact that cloud adoption is speeding up is not. The adoption of this technology was inevitable; COVID-19 accelerated the timeline. Pre-pandemic businesses followed step-by-step digital transformation road maps spanning years to spread out a budget, level out the workload, and minimize disruption.

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This quickly went out the window when forced remote working measures were put in place. When ‘the normal’ had been flipped on its head, cloud infrastructure technology offered businesses the ability to continue providing ‘business as normal’ to customers.

As environments grow highly complex and interconnected, and with workforces fragmented, organizations need increased agility and scalability to implement new technologies and services at speed – ramping it up at a moment’s notice and scaling it right now once the need is filled. Cloud enables this, and its versatility has been invaluable to organizations across the globe.

This technology is everywhere, from behind eCommerce platforms ramping up their online services, such as Sainsbury’s increasing delivery capabilities, to schools teaching students remotely. While many of these services may not be needed forever, the adoption of cloud technology has created a framework for businesses to continue to grow and adapt processes alongside consumer demand and need.

Consistent testing is critical for continued enterprise success in our digital world

Cloud-based technology has become vital for keeping business functioning at all times. Still, as most transactions shift to digital, it is important to ensure the speed of delivery and user experience are seamless and uninterrupted. This is where testing comes in.

Why is testing important? This is a query asked by many businesses as testing is still seen as an afterthought and a tick box exercise. Actually, the question to be asked is, why isn’t testing more important? While organizations take important steps to implement the necessary technology for business development and success, unfortunately, this is not enough.

Ensuring this technology works perfectly is vital, as consumers are becoming increasingly impatient and expect nothing but a flawless customer experience at all times. This means – fast loading times and seamlessly performing applications on all platforms and operating systems.

As a result, technology is now interlinked with business performance, as faulty technology that causes any delay or creates an inconvenience for the consumer can do long-lasting damage to the businesses’ reputation. Retail is a key example – more customers than ever are interacting with retailers online.

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This means retail businesses are now responsible for quality in-store experiences and have to ensure shoppers are delighted online, so they complete their purchase. Slow page loading or website crashes, no matter how quickly they are solved, can be extremely damaging, resulting in shoppers abandoning carts and shopping elsewhere.

The continuous deployment of new technologies required in today’s world means enterprises need to intelligently test their environments faster than ever before to find and fix bugs quickly and predict the impact of a new release on your business through artificial intelligence. Traditionally, many organizations have done this through manual testing.

This is a responsibility that traditionally comes down to software development teams and is often a slow and expensive process. Similar to how low-code platforms function, software testing can now be automated, as testing platforms utilize AI to automate test execution at all software development stages.

Organizations can now implement end-to-end testing quickly and automatically without the need to hire software developers. Through continuous testing, organizations can quickly identify any flaws within the software and optimize resources and release new and updated software faster, ensuring they are keeping up with changing customer demands.

A step to further democratize end-to-end test automation, improving the quality of the digital experience and speed of deployment on any platform, is to marry test automation together with the cloud.

This accelerates the agility and scale of continuous business delivery – organizations can quickly and easily quantify the impact of software updates, both pre- and post-release, to ensure continuous quality that delivers business outcomes.

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All of these advantages can be accessed through the cloud’s scalable nature, which provides businesses with frictionless, efficient continuous and parallel end-to-end testing for any apps and websites, and on any target platforms.

The adoption of cloud technology is only going to increase. The ability to grow, scale at speed, and be flexible is critical for business success not only during the COVID-19 era but beyond, where more and more of our lives – both personal and business – will be online. Organizations investing now are the ones that will remain competitive.

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Gareth is a proven leader of product marketing, product management solutions, and Pre-Sales teams. Prior experience includes Progress Software, where he held several positions, including Director of Product Management and Principal Software Architect. He was also part of the founding team of Apama, where he was Director of Pre Sales & Principal Architect before its acquisition by Progress Software. Smith has a doctorate in computer science, focusing on collaborative user interface design, and spent over a decade in academia.