Cloud technologies are no longer a differentiator. They have become increasingly commonplace within the enterprise and are now being utilized as a fundamental infrastructural backbone for companies, new and old. The benefits of cloud are far-reaching – from the ability to integrate, activate, and scale new technologies and capabilities at a rapid pace, to the ability to seamlessly share and access data from different work streams and different areas of businesses for a holistic enterprise overarching view.
With the rise of cloud computing has come the rise of cross-ecosystem and cross-industry collaboration through the development of cloud partner ecosystems (CPE). These ecosystems comprise partners, all of whom operate individually and with their own set of customers, products, solutions, and expertise – but also collaborate, share, and innovate alongside one another. These partners share their experiences, data, and solutions through a cloud environment that enables a partner ecosystem to prove mutually beneficial to all ecosystem members.
Cloud integration and platform collaboration have made such sharing possible. Besides, the COVID-19 crisis has put an even larger spotlight on the importance of cloud technology and CPEs. Throughout the crisis, cloud capabilities have been put front and center through all stages (per-crisis, during, and the present scenario). In many instances, cloud has served as a point of salvation for enterprises – providing them with the ability to drastically shift the ways that they and their partners work, collaborate, and evolve. Furthermore, cloud has enabled niche and emerging technologies to deliver exponential value to enterprises in this time of need.
Firstly, let’s look at the pre COVID-19 landscape. Cloud technology had emerged as an industry standard and CPEs (and cross-ecosystem collaboration overall) became increasingly important to thriving in the Business 4.0TM era. Because of cloud infrastructure, and the reliance on CPEs for enterprise innovation, enterprises were positioned to successfully navigate the crisis when it first hit. During the pandemic, CPEs were forced to evolve and navigate in collaboration with their partner members by restructuring their products, solutions, IT processes, and employee engagement capabilities—all through the integration of cloud-based emerging technologies and the revamping of everyday solutions. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a perfect example of this. Over time, we have seen AI become deeply ingrained in data-driven processes, both internal and external. The ways that CPEs share and activate data across the partner ecosystem are becoming increasingly automated and intuitive thanks to AI.
Furthermore, employee learning and competency training have become increasingly digitized and cloud centric as well. Through the use of innovative cloud-based learning management systems, enterprises have been able to transition their entire workforce to a new way of work, and oftentimes new roles and responsibilities outright, all through cloud-based learning tools.
Going forward, cloud technology and CPEs will be integral in the long-term strategy and planning that enterprises are currently working on – in order to plan for the inevitable shifts in consumer demands, shifts in enterprise workplace standards, and even to safeguard against potential future risks of the global pandemic. Cloud services will be absolutely crucial to developing and implementing strategies for the long-term – ones that are agile, proactive, data-driven, and collaborative across industry and cross-ecosystem partners.