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2020 Cloud – Year in Review

Posted on Dec 07, 2020 8:30 am

With more people working from home than ever before, 2020 has been a pivotal year for advancements in the cloud space. Read about the 2020 cloud year in review.

Cloud computing has truly come into its own in recent years. Its adoption and evolution has been meteoric even by tech standards. 90% of companies are already using some form of cloud computing.

They’re not just using the cloud for backing up data, either. 60% of workloads were being conducted on the cloud as of 2019. 

The 2020 cloud has been growing and evolving in all manner of surprising and exciting ways, even by tech’s standards. Much of this has to do with the disruption of business-as-usual due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Cloud computing has been called “the backbone of remote work.” 

As we prepare to turn the calendar page on this wild year, let’s look at some of the other changes and evolutions of the 2020 cloud. 

2020 Cloud Trends

The 2020 cloud is more relevant and necessary than any year in its history. Spending on cloud computing rose by 37% in the first quarter of 2020 to $29 billion to meet the demands brought about by the Coronavirus. 

It remains to be seen how the working world will be permanently changed in the wake of COVID-19. It seems a reasonable projection to assume that remote work and digital collaboration will be more firmly entrenched than ever before. That means the need for cloud computing is only going to continue to grow. 

Here are some of the most prevalent 2020 cloud trends we’ve observed this year. 

Edge Computing

Currently, over 90% of a business’ data is sent to the cloud to be stored and processed. That number is going to drop to 25% by 2025. The remaining data will remain on the device it was created on. 

This is edge computing. 

Edge computing derives its name from being on the “edge” of a network. This is in contrast to the centralized nature of storing data on the cloud. There are numerous benefits to edge computing, ranging from speed to cost to security. 

Storing data locally means it can be accessed more quickly. This means that your local machines will be able to make decisions more quickly. It also means that data can be processed more quickly. When you’re dealing with large amounts of transactions, such as querying a database, these small increments of time can add up. 

Storing all of your data on the cloud can be costly, as well. It may be to your benefit to employ local storage when possible instead of paying to store all of your data on the cloud. 

Storing all of your data on the cloud is a security risk, as well. All of your data could be comprised if there’s a security breach, for instance. Even worse, it could be lost, which would deal a devastating blow to a data-driven business. 

Edge computing might seem at odds with the cloud. In fact, the two are complementary disciplines. Cloud computing paired with edge computing is a truly powerful combination when implemented properly. 

Cloud Automation

Cloud computing has evolved far from simply acting as a glorified backup drive. Much of today’s computing itself takes place on the cloud, as well. Cloud automation is a particularly powerful implementation of the computing power of the cloud. 

Many of today’s computing disciplines involve automation in some way, shape, or form. Some of these disciplines include software development, infrastructure, and ci/cd software and processes. Automation helps businesses keep up with the increasing complexity of the business world. This includes their own business structure itself, which can involve managing and maintaining numerous cloud servers, both public and private. 

Many automation tools are designed to be cloud-agnostic. This means they can be integrated seamlessly with any cloud provider. 

There are certain considerations that are particular to cloud-based processes, however. IT professionals need to set up these automation tools to coordinate cloud-specific credentials, set up IP networks, and allocate the necessary resources. It’s also necessary to automate the maintenance of cloud services like the cloud database, directory services, and edge devices. 

This means that AI is going to become increasingly important from this point forward. AI and machine learning play an integral part in making decisions in the automation process. This is mandatory, as it’s automation’s job to create less work for you and your IT team, not more. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to automate mundane, repetitive tasks. These tasks can be made infinitely scalable. They can also be performed tirelessly, without error, and exponentially faster than any human operator. 

One example might be AI and machine learning being used to analyze log files. Even a simple cloud server can amass a truly impressive log, full of user information and data. This data can be analyzed for all manner of useful insights and trends. These insights can help prevent shortages and service interruption, which is mandatory for the cloud to function properly. 

Industry-Specific Clouds 

The ways that we’re using the cloud has grown far more sophisticated than when it was in its infancy. With so much of today’s business happening in the cloud, there’s been a movement towards providing customized services for specific industries. 

These can be most specifically in industries with special requirements such as health, law, or finance. 

Laws governing specific industries is one cause for these industry-specific cloud services. The rise of a globalized workforce makes this even more necessary. These industry-specific cloud services help remedy this so you don’t need to worry about it. 

Consider the medical industry, for instance. There are strict and very specific laws regarding what can be done with a patient’s medical information in the digital realm. These rules and laws are laid out in great detail in the HIPAA and HITECH legislation. Making sure than medical information is HIPAA-compliant has become an industry in and of itself. 

This is just one example of how industry-specific cloud services are arising to solve problems as they occur. It’s difficult to prepare for these issues before they happen. Given how complex and interconnected today’s world is, you can rest assured you’re going to see more of tailored, targeted cloud-based solutions in this new decade. 

Cloud Agnostic Services

It’s never a smart business decision to rely too much on one business, product, or service. This sets the stage for a monopoly. If you’re not careful, you’re entirely at the mercy of the provider. 

Being overly dependent on one cloud provider can put your customers at risk, as well. Cloud servers are a vital component of the ci/cd ecosystem. If you aren’t careful, one outage could take your app or website offline. A cloud agnostic strategy helps you avoid these kinds of outages. 

A hybrid cloud strategy is one strategy that’s popular for helping to avoid some of the outcomes of depending on one cloud provider. Hybrid strategies can also be customized to your organization’s particular needs and where you’re at in your digital transformation. 

One example of a hybrid strategy might be keeping your main applications local and in-house. This could be to avoid you having to migrate older applications online. It can also be a way to help your team acclimate to the new cloud-based system. 

Cloud agnostic systems are infinitely scalable as well. This is one of the advantages of using the cloud in the first place. A cloud agnostic configuration just helps you to make the most of it as easily as possible. 

It offers a similar flexibility to your cloud-based applications, as well. It makes it far less likely that you’ll be stuck with just one application if you’ve outgrown it or it’s no longer serving your needs. 

Cloud agnostic services help make sure that the power’s always in your hands. It ensures that your tools are serving you rather than the other way around. 

Cloud computing is no longer a niche market. The unexpected twists and turns of 2020 have shown us that there’s simply no predicting what the future has in store. It’s also shown us that we need our tech to be able to keep up with anything

No matter what’s in store, things like remote work and digital collaboration tools are here to stay. In fact, they’re only going to continue to become more and more important. Taking the time to configure your cloud services properly helps you to make the most of this new world we’re inhabiting while combining it with time-honored business practices. 

Are You Looking For Cloud Services?

One thing the 2020 cloud has shown us is that we need our tech to be available to us, no matter what. We need our apps and our web services to work so we can, too. Whether you’re a service provider or a cloud consumer, we’ve got plans to meet your needs. Contact us today and let us know how we can help!

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