Cloud computing has become omnipresent in today’s business world. 90% of companies were using the cloud in some capacity as of 2019.
The amount of funding that companies allocate towards cloud-based computing rises with each year, as well. Forecasters predicted that investment in the cloud would increase by 17% in 2020 to reach $266.4 billion. The actual numbers will probably far exceed those expectations when 2020’s cloud spending is finally tallied.
All of these predictions were from before the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, as well. The last year has shown us that the future of cloud computing and business are hopelessly intertwined.
Here are our predictions for the trends that will shape the future of cloud computing into 2021 and beyond.
2020 has shown us to expect the unexpected. While we don’t know fully what these next 12 months will have in store, these are the trends we predict will rise in the future of cloud computing.
The Coronavirus and COVID-19 have raised all manner of challenges in cloud-based technology. While some of these challenges have proven beneficial for cloud providers, they sometimes leave the cloud adopters in the lurch, which ends up being bad for the cloud providers in the long run.
Many companies were beginning the process of transitioning into the cloud at the beginning of 2020. They had no reason to assume they didn’t have all the time in the world, though. COVID-19 greatly accelerated most company’s timelines for cloud adoption. Before this, most companies were looking into hybrid cloud solutions.
The uncertainty around the impact that COVID-19 has an impact on how companies can budget for cloud-based technologies. Should they invest in physical infrastructure when it’s unclear when work will be able to return to the office?
These are just some of the challenges facing cloud adoption. The legalities around cloud adoption and how it interacts with local and federal laws continue to rage. There have been limitations around some cloud providers based out of China, like Huawei, for instance.
With so much of the world happening in remote work and collaboration, it makes sense that we see larger-than-usual adoption of cloud-native technologies. It is predicted that over 60% of companies will be using some form of container-based public cloud services by the end of 2021. 25% of developers are predicted to be using serverless technology by the end of this year.
Cloud-native technologies were already catching on like wildfire before the pandemic began to rage. Services like Amazon Web Services and Kubernetes were already mainstream before virtualizing the entire working world virtually. Expect to see that trend accelerate like a Concorde airplane in 2021.
Certain types of technology perform better in the cloud than on local networks. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are both particularly primed for the cloud. Both involve consuming large quantities of data to function, not to mention learn and evolve.
The business world was already becoming more data-driven and obsessed with each passing year. This will become increasingly important in the future of cloud computing and how it will shape and impact the business world.
The increased adoption of machine learning and AI will happen for a variety of reasons. The business world was already becoming more fiercely competitive before COVID-19. The increased uncertainty and financial instability unleashed in the wake of this global pandemic has thrown jet fuel on that open fire.
This is creating the perfect storm for accelerating the adoption of machine learning and AI. Businesses need to adopt machine learning and AI to be as competitive as possible. They also have more data than ever to fuel these endeavors.
Today’s cloud-based servers and storage can contain a staggering amount of data. For that data to be useful in any regard, that means it needs to be scanned, stored, sorted, and managed quickly. This is where high-performance computing comes into play.
High-performance computing in the cloud means running the processes for storing and processing data in the same public cloud as to where the data is stored. High-performance computing in the cloud has traditionally been rather expensive and difficult to implement, meaning many companies have resisted implementing these solutions in their own workflow.
This is another trend that’s been gradually rising but has been exponentially accelerated due to COVID-19. 40% of businesses were employing some cloud-based high-performance computing by the end of 2020. In 2016, only 26% of businesses were even aware of high-performance computing’s existence.
As is often the case when an industry begins to flourish, the influx of money means a rush of new providers looking to capitalize on the trend. You can rest assured you’re going to see more cloud-based technologies and services in the next few years. You’re also going to see a rise in public cloud servers, giving Amazon Web Services and Google a run for their money.
IBM, Microsoft, AWS, and Google have recently been rolling cloud-based servers and services for specific industries. There’s also been a surge in new technologies like the Edge cloud and edge computing. Edge computing, traditionally, was largely focused on the Internet of Things or IoT. Developers are finding innovative ways to integrate edge computing into their projects as the cloud becomes more integrated into our daily lives.
One good thing to come from the prevalence of the cloud is that costs have settled down to a large degree. This makes it far more possible to create budgets for your technical needs and stick to them.
It also means that businesses have gotten better at keeping track of their technology expenses. This makes it easier to justify your technical expenses to your investors and C-suite.
Amazon dominates every single aspect of the online world. This is true of the cloud, as well. We’re going to start seeing companies teaming up to take on the monolithic AWS.
When the cloud was first emerging, there was a race to be all things to all people. Cloud providers wanted their customers never to leave their domain. Cloud providers have realized that they need to cooperate to have any hope of competing against the internet giant.
One example would be when former competitors Microsoft and Oracle announced a partnership towards the end of 2019. We’re going to see a lot more joining forces in the cloud sector. It’ll be a good thing for the companies and the customers alike, in the long run.
Serverless technology is primed to become the next big thing. It’s the next logical step from a single operating system to service-oriented architecture to microservices.
Serverless technology was one of the five fastest-growing cloud services at the end of 2020, according to the Flexera State of the Cloud report. Serverless technology may be the first truly cloud-native tech. It’s not going to be a major trend in the future of cloud computing for 2021 but probably from here on out.
Cloud-based resources cost money. Everything from connectivity to storage increases your technical budget for the quarter. Serverless technology is one way to make sure that you don’t end up spending more than you need to.
We’re going to see a similar boom in every kind of self-contained tech. Expect to see a similar rise in container-based technology and microservices, as well.
This also means that developers aren’t going to be as tied to the cloud servers, either. When serverless truly takes hold, programmers won’t need to be proficient with AWS or Azure to create tools and services that use the cloud. You can expect a similar boom when visual editors became commonplace, replacing the command line.
2020 has revealed how fragile the infrastructure that runs our world truly is. It’s taught us the need for resiliency. It’s shown us the need to embrace complexity.
Cloud computing positions us to be ready for anything truly. It’s not tethered to one place and time like physical technology. Please think of this as a good thing, making us more flexible and more able to collaborate. Cloud technology positions us to make the best of the worst this last year has thrown at us.
Adopting cloud-based services and technology positions you and your company to be ready for anything. The future of cloud computing and the future of business are intimately intertwined. Contact us today, let us know what you need from the cloud, and set you up for success!