The near-term outlook for most sectors of the economy is bleak as social distancing measures shutter the travel, hospitality and manufacturing industries. Yet in recent months we've heard from both cloud entrepreneurs and software buyers that demand for SaaS is booming.
The CEO of a contact centre SaaS business has told us implementation timelines have gone from months to weeks as workers need to operate remotely for the first time. A board member of a top global insurer says they are accelerating their digital transformation program and speeding up conversations with potential vendors.
This is all borne out in the recent earnings figures for the big cloud providers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the preferred vendor for many cloud-native companies and grew 33% in the most recent quarter to pass the $10bn quarterly revenue mark for the first time.
Microsoft's Azure product - more popular among large corporates who have transitioned from legacy architecture - has been seeing strong but decelerating growth in recent quarters. Their latest earnings call saw a reversal of this trend as Q2 2020 saw quarterly growth jump to 62% from 59% in Q1.
Remote work-focused companies like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft's own Teams product have seen enormous and much-covered surges in demand. One of the second order effects of remote working is that the benefits of the cloud are even more apparent for every piece of enterprise software.
“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “From remote teamwork and learning to sales and customer service to critical cloud infrastructure and security — we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything. Our durable business model, diversified portfolio, and differentiated technology stack position us well for what’s ahead.”