The first half of 2020 forced business leaders to rethink their approach to delivering services and products to their customers. The impact of Covid-19 and the shelter in place measures to contain the spread of the disease made clear the need to build capabilities for remote work and prepare businesses for the future. Leading companies in the world are adopting cloud technologies to modernize their businesses and the signs can be seen from the 25% – 100% growth in the revenues of cloud technology providers like Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.
I will not go into technical details of cloud technologies in this article. Instead, I will cite simple examples of how companies or organisations around the world and in Nigeria are adopting the cloud to transform their businesses. I will also give reasons why there is opportunity for the companies that adopt cloud technologies efficiently to grow ten times in 2021.
In the years leading to 2020 technology (tech) companies in America had been advocating to leading American schools the need to digitize classes and the learning experience. In that time the schools always found reasons to show that classroom teaching would always be superior to any remote learning experience and that adopting online classes would be painful and could take 2 – 3 years to adopt fully. However, when the lockdowns of Covid-19 were imposed and the schools faced the prospect of losing academic sessions to the pandemic, the leading American schools quickly transitioned to online classes in 2 – 3 months!
In Nigeria, in December 2020, public universities have been closed since March first because of Covid-19 restrictions and then because of strike action by its leading academic staff union. On the other hand, private universities and education service providers are open and some have adopted novel ways to continue delivering their services. Prior to 2020, LagTutor.com offered home tutoring services to prepare candidates for university entrance examinations. In early 2020, they put a stop to physical home tutoring and now offer their tutoring services exclusively online using tools like Zoom, WhatsApp, mobile apps and their website. The dysfunctions in public educational institutions in Nigeria have made people look elsewhere for learning opportunities. If you look online you will find that forward thinking institutions in Nigeria and abroad are cashing in on this by offering online courses that can be delivered on the laptops and mobile phones of their customers at their pace of learning.
Whenever there is talk about digital business transformation the first examples that come to mind of companies that can be transformed are the big enterprise scale companies, the financial institutions and the telecommunications giants. The good thing about cloud technologies is that any size business can use them. In practice, cloud technologies provide small tech savvy companies the opportunity to punch above their weight because bigger, better financed companies are typically slow to change methods that are working for them.
In 2020, I have seen among the businesses I offer digital services to, an increase in online enquiries about their services and orders for goods. For example, Rolabik.com, a company that offers security fencing products and services saw a dramatic increase in online orders for their products. This happened during the lockdown when in reaction to the insecurity fears that accompanied it people went online to look for ways to beef up the protection of their properties.
Divine Fish Farm and Gardens is another business that benefited in 2020 from the changing attitude of Nigerians to search online first for food and garden products. During the lockdown they received orders online and delivered farm products to customers at their doorsteps.
Many of the businesses we offer digital solutions to don’t really care about the technical details of cloud technologies. They are just fine that we are using the tools to enhance their businesses. It is enough for them that we interface with the leading cloud technology providers like GCP and AWS and provide them the services they need to accelerate their growth.
In November 2020, we conducted search engine marketing for one of our customers. In a ten-day campaign for one product category we ran advertisements (ads) for $150. The ad campaign increased traffic to the business’ website by twenty times. Using tools like Google Analytics we were able to generate a report on the ad campaign that gave insight into what their potential customers were searching for, where they were searching from, what devices they were searching with and what they were willing to pay for the product. With the kind of information that artificial intelligence (AI) tools like Google Analytics can give a business, managers can make informed decisions that can accelerate growth.
Nigerian traditional financial institutions have often cited regulatory restrictions as reasons why they cannot fully adopt cloud technologies quickly enough for computing, storage, networking and AI needs. However, the events of 2020, including the October #EndSARS protests and related developments, have caused panic among banking executives as they scramble to adopt the superior benefits of the cloud. But they have to be careful to develop well thought-out cloud adoption strategies for their short term and long term needs. The Nigerian financial industry is a place where you will find some players who are doing relatively well because of a track record of willingness to adopt technology quickly enough to solve customer needs and other players who are struggling because complacency and the burdens of tradition make them slow to meet the needs of the times.
History is replete with examples of how the latest technologies influence the outcome of important events. The companies doing well in 2020 despite the challenges that came during the year did not begin preparations in January 2020. In fact, they were ready for the impact of the lockdown before it came. If forward looking companies keep doing the right things they will continue to grow in 2021 and win customers from other companies that are slow to change.
The cloud is not just an exploratory journey – it is the future of business. This is the reason I am confident that we can grow our business at Caseray Solutions ten times in 2021. Join us on the transformation journey. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how cloud technologies can help you grow your business.