2020 has been a big year for cloud computing with the pandemic being the driving force behind accelerated digital transformation and the urgent need for businesses to provide remote working capabilities for their employees. Cloud adoption is expected to soar over the next decade, with the increasing numbers of connected devices and the use of big data pushing the market upwards at a predicted 15% a year from its 2019 value of £200 billion. Here, we’ll look at the cloud trends predicted for 2021.
Serverless computing takes the popular ‘pay-as-you-go’ and ‘as a service’ cloud models to a new level, with vendors running the server and managing the allocation of machine resources that customers use. This will benefit enterprises because they will be charged on the actual amount of resources their apps consume, rather than paying for pre-purchased capacity.
The other advantage is that enterprises can make use of the cloud services without having to manage or operate the servers, provision capacity or undertake patching, as these are all taken care of by the vendor – hence the term ‘serverless. In this way, serverless computing gives enterprises greater freedom to focus on developing business-related projects, something that has led Gartner to believe it will already have been adopted by around 20% of global businesses by the end of this year.
More use of hybrid cloud
The number of enterprises making use of hybrid cloud systems grew from 52% in 2018 to 58% in 2019 and this growth is expected to continue over the coming year. The ability to take advantage of the low-cost scalability of public cloud and combine it with the single tenancy security of private cloud makes it ideal for companies wanting to expand computing capacity while maintaining compliance with data security regulations like GDPR.
AI and machine learning use to expand
Cloud adoption gives enterprises the opportunity to access advanced technologies like AI and machine learning. The use of these is expected to become far more widespread during 2021, with businesses in all sectors and of all sizes using them to increase efficiency and productivity. Expect to see greater use of these technologies in the creation of smart cities, automation and in finding ways to overcome the impact of the pandemic.
Additionally, AI and machine learning will play an increasing role in making the cloud work better. They will be used to assist the complex logistics processes required to operate large datacentres, such as monitoring the health and predicting the failure of hardware, networks and cooling systems. They will also enable vendors to optimise datacentres so that they run faster and more efficiently, improving services for customers while reducing their carbon emissions.
The rise of virtual cloud workstations
Virtual cloud workstations are managed cloud services that provide users with a complete working environment accessible via computer screen. The advantage for enterprises is that employees can work seamlessly whether in the office, at home or on the go. Importantly, they can also benefit from the pay as you go charging model where companies are billed only for the hours that their employees make use of the service. This can work out far less expensive than purchasing their own technology and replacing it when it becomes redundant.
Virtual cloud workstations also increase efficiency and security. They sync data to ensure all workers have up-to-date files and information, while devices are centrally managed to control access permissions and ensure user-policies and procedures are implemented and followed.
The competition between cloud vendors means that there is generally little collaboration between them. However, the trend over recent years for enterprises to adopt a multi-cloud approach, using a variety of vendors for different purposes, is expected to eradicate this isolationism over the next few years.
Multi-cloud users are increasingly demanding greater integration between the different services they use and this is forcing vendors to consider linking up their platforms with other providers. Although this requires a radical shift in their business models, vendors that build bridges with their competitors are set to mutually benefit from the growing number of users that will find these collaborations attractive.
Teaming up with other providers will help customers to benefit even more from multi-cloud and make it easier and faster for them to allow access and share data with their partners. This ‘opening up’ of the cloud is also set to be a catalyst for the development of new services that make it simpler to operate between multiple cloud platforms.
Cloud technology provides enormous benefits to businesses, from significant cost-savings to the ability to take advantage of important technologies, like AI, machine learning and automation. It is, additionally, a form of IT that is constantly developing and improving. Hopefully, this post will have given you an insight into the trends expected in 2021.
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