Since 2010, the global cloud services industry has grown year over year, reaching a valuation of $370 billion in 2020, representing a growth of more than 380 percent in just ten years. However, given that 90 percent of the world’s data in 2013 was created between 2011 and 2012, it’s unavoidable that more data would necessitate more data storage. By the end of 2020, the virtual weight of all the world’s information was 44 zettabytes (trillion gigabytes), a figure with 21 zeroes. As of 2020, roughly half of all corporate data is stored in the cloud, which is not surprising.

The cloud is more than just a convenient storage solution; it is a one-of-a-kind platform for generating data and developing innovative ways to use that data. This intense focus on adaptability has enabled a previously thought-to-be-impossible form of service-oriented thinking. As a result, the ability to specialise has grown, allowing organisations to innovate their business models and processes to pursue core competencies and business goals while remaining agile.

2020 was a turning point for the cloud, as it took the lead in facilitating remote work solutions. In addition, it enabled organisations to combine existing organisational processes with novel cloud technologies to increase flexibility during these uncertain times. 

As businesses compete to thrive in this new remote work environment, COVID-19 has facilitated a focus on cloud capabilities. As a result, the cloud has become an essential component of ongoing business, and it is the key to unlocking organisational growth. As a result, spending on public cloud services is expected to increase by 18.4 percent globally in 2021.

As we get closer to a cloud-based world, businesses that want to gain competitive advantage must understand the ebbs and flows of the cloud services industry. So we’ve compiled a few significant trends we believe will help you contextualise your existing cloud capabilities and identify areas for future growth.

1: Multi- and Hybrid Cloud Environments Will Take root

Businesses understand that cloud data management isn’t about having a single cloud platform or infrastructure; instead, it’s about selecting the best solution for the job at hand. In some cases, this isn’t cloud at all; instead, it’s on-premises or even legacy systems, particularly when enterprises are locked into specific systems for business-critical solutions difficult or complex to adapt.

The emerging cloud trend in 2021 is that enterprises are less concerned about sticking with a single cloud vendor and are instead embracing a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud offering where they can get the most out of each solution. According to Carolee Gearhart, Global Channel Chief at Google, “Gartner estimates that by 2021, 75 percent of midsize and large organisations will have adopted a multi-cloud or a hybrid strategy.” Additionally, according to IDC’s 2021 report, by 2022, more than 90% of enterprises will be relying on a hybrid cloud solutions model that includes on-premises, dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms.

2: Maintaining Compliance in a Changing Environment

Businesses must adopt a vendor-agnostic approach and seek SaaS solutions that eliminate bottlenecks or blind spots to take part in this cloud trend. Visibility across a heterogeneous environment will be more critical than ever, ensuring that organisations achieve the same level of insight across the board, in different instances and platforms, with no gaps.

If this fails, cyber-attackers could exploit these flaws or leave issues for internal governance and Compliance. At the moment, data privacy and security are cited as the top barriers to enterprise cloud adoption, and adding additional infrastructure to the mix complicates matters even more.

3: Controlling cloud costs will be a top priority for Organisations.

According to Gartner, global public cloud revenue will increase by 17% this year to $266.4 billion. Furthermore, by 2022, a record-breaking 60% of organisations will use an external cloud provider’s managed services offering, up from 30% in 2018 – growth is an undeniable trend in the cloud computing market.

The decentralised consumption model has exponentially increased costs for organisations, often with no control over the spiralling bottom line. Businesses will need to start getting a handle on these costs as cloud usage grows, streamlining expenses that aren’t being used to their full potential and eliminating duplicate spending or unnecessary overheads.

This could be difficult because different cloud and hybrid services have different pricing and billing models, and costs fluctuate from month to month. Innovative third-party solutions that can help organisations gain granular insight into their hybrid network while also providing unified cost management will rise to the top. 

4: Solution-focused Partners

As businesses continue to migrate their infrastructure to SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, one cloud trend is that third-party vendors who specialise in meeting specific use cases and problem-solving new cloud challenges will be in high demand. While your cloud provider will handle cloud infrastructure needs like storage, it will handle compute and networking and specific needs like data, visibility, AI and ML technology, or IoT.

These external partners will need to have a strong understanding of how cloud computing and its associated cloud technologies work while leaving the hardware element to AWS or other infrastructure leaders. They will also need to be well-versed in getting the best solutions on both the cloud and on-premises for specific organisational needs.

5: A Continued Shift to On-Demand Technology

As cloud costs are reduced, businesses will have more revenue to take advantage of these solutions that address their specific industry challenges. As a result, providers will seek to promote innovation that is easily accessible to a broad audience, has a low learning curve, a low-code interface, and is more democratised overall, so that anyone can reap the benefits. Thus, without the need for a team of data scientists, organisations will begin to see the benefits of Machine Learning, AI, and automation in a very tangible way to solve and improve business strategy in 2021, as well as an exciting cloud computing trend.

Cloud providers’ offerings only reinforce this to the publiczure’s Machine Learning Experimental UI, AWS Innovate’s emphasis on AI and ML, and GCP’s Auto ML.

What’s Next? 

The cloud has begun to realise its full potential as a means for organisations of all sizes to realise enormous amounts of value. The first step has already been taken, as businesses can now access infrastructure with resources they could never have obtained independently.

The next level of cloud computing trends that we will see as we move through 2021 and 2022 is organisations getting ahead of compliance and security challenges and partnering with smart, innovative external solutions.

These companies will already have a thorough understanding of the new hybrid reality, allowing forward-thinking customers to benefit from their targeted skills and expertise right away.

If the visibility of a hybrid environment is one of the barriers to cloud adoption, let us provide you with a 2021 vision and put it firmly on your roadmap for this year. Then, feel free to connect with us and know more.