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Businesses are currently experiencing unprecedented demand. Their digital services, social media platforms, video conferencing, remote working and video streaming services are under pressure to serve content. Online retailers and grocery stores are being hit particularly heavily as consumers turn to home delivery to feed their families.

Brands such as Netflix and Disney+ streaming services are reducing standard video rates to cope with demand during peak times. Some of these platforms have been unable to deal with the demand as the traffic comes in quick spikes rather than a steady flow.

Cloud services, and in particular subscription agreements, can help mitigate irregular demands by using scaling rules and setting thresholds on resources. That means more resources are added at the right time so your website stays online and licensed appropriately to avoid unnecessary costs.

Global cloud computing platforms such as Microsoft Azure (Azure), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are all great platforms for supporting your infrastructure as demand grows. Of course, quite rightly they are currently prioritising key services such as first responders, government, educational and health organisations.

As they adopt a more cloud-based approach to hosting, digital platform providers are creating subscription licences, which make a lot of sense in the current market.

They offer a lower cost of entry to a product or service rather than a large up-front fee. In a lot of cases, you can try 7 or 30-day trials then pay to unlock additional features on a regular basis.

Cloud computing is also supporting the new generation of digital disruptors by allowing them to get started quickly. They don't need to invest in huge scale infrastructures but rather iterate and scale over time as their demand increases.

Subscription agreements in the cloud offer a way for you to start small and match the amount of visitors to your platform, as that demand grows you choose how to adapt and deal with it.

One of the challenges of previous models was paying up front without knowing the volume of traffic the infrastructure needed to handle. For enterprise organisations, duplicate or failover systems could further complicate the issue.

For example, the new Sitecore subscription model does away with the limits to infrastructure and allows an agreed level of traffic based on monthly estimations. Regular reviews of consumption determine if you need to move up or down a tier in terms of traffic volumes. IT budgets can be controlled more easily and investment in the higher tiers will be the sign of a more successful platform.

In these difficult times the ability to flex your subscription is ideal when you need to react to events quickly in a cost-effective way. Combined with the additional benefits of cloud hosting it looks like it will be the way we’ll be working in the future as well as right now.

Steven Shaw - Technical Director, Kin + Carta Connect