The world has seen a rapid adoption of cloud technology since the rise of remote work due to COVID-19. In fact, some estimates have cloud spend reaching $500 billion in 2021, and that is just for the US market. It is obvious that organizations think investing in cloud is vital for the survival of their core business.
This shift is not unexpected. During the past few years, Wipro’s DMTS Cloud Working Group has observed several industry-wide trends with respect to key cloud growth areas, adaptability to new technology, and companies’ expectations for cloud solutions. Based on our observations and learnings, we have identified eight key areas in cloud computing that will be in focus in 2021.
1) Cloud Automation
As more business moves online, companies need improved security, streamlined backup processes, and better governance. Therefore, a primary focus for cloud this year is better optimization through automation. Cloud automation is key in terms of cost savings, continuous deployment, driving organizational innovation, agility, fault tolerance, and enhanced scalability. Public and private cloud automation can be achieved in many areas, from CloudOps and AIOps to FinOps solutions. We see cloud automation as a major trend in 2021.
2) Developer Productivity for Cloud Transformation
With more hybrid multi-cloud environments, an important design consideration for application development is portability and agility. From this perspective, the choice of programming languages for cloud is evolving to represent these fundamental requirements.
Analysts suggest that there is an increasing interest for enterprises to adopt platforms that offer rapid development and less dependence on top-gun programmers. In fact, Gartner estimates that low-code app platforms will account for over 65% of development by 2024, and that one in three enterprises will use a multi-experience development platform (MXDP) to increase the speed and agility needed to deliver successful digital products.
3) Cloud Integration Services
By 2022, at least 65% of large organizations will have implemented a hybrid integration platform. Why? Because as more organizations adopt SaaS and cloud-based applications, hybrid-cloud integration platforms are needed to help companies process seamless integrations. The platform would typically be built using best-of-breed iPaaS and API gateways, and would have AI-enabled low-code integration capabilities that enable citizen integrators to build their own integrations. As a result, we’ll see business users in departments such as marketing and human resources build their own integrations to get data from SaaS applications for their reporting and analysis needs.
4) Confidential Computing
Confidential computing, a term last used decades ago for the banking ATM rollout, is evolving for the rapid adoption of cloud computing. As companies rely more and more on public cloud services, data privacy in the cloud is imperative. The primary goal of confidential computing is to provide companies assurance that their data in the cloud is protected, confidential, and more importantly, only can be accessed by authorized personnel. Many solutions are emerging in hardware improvements, cloud services offerings, solution providers, and open source.
The roadmap of data encryption is exciting. The industry is going to see platforms offered specific to healthcare, finance, government, telecom, and more. In addition, as the migration to 5G fuels growth in IoT and edge computing, the need for AI and machine-learning solutions to process sensitive data will grow, bringing better, faster, more reliable and most importantly, more secure solutions to customers.
5) Edge Computing
Edge computing and cloud-native computing are complementary, not mutually exclusive. Edge computing is all about bringing data and computing from traditional centralized data centers to edges where data is generated and needs processing. Edge computing will lead to the development of new types of applications called Edge-Native Applications.
These are extensions to the cloud-native application paradigm. Gaming, media and entertainment, and Industrial IoT (IIoT) are driving the growth of edge computing. In fact, Gartner predicts IIoT endpoints will reach 25.1 billion by 2021. This kind of expansion makes IIoT a key focus. A Grand View Research report estimates global multi-access edge computing will reach $15.4 billion by 2027, with North America and Asia-Pacific as the largest markets.
6) Cloud-Native Computing
Cloud native is the process of building services and applications that take advantage of many cloud-computing benefits. The highly scalable architecture, supporting automation and elasticity of native services has made them more popular among developers. Speed, agility, growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 initiatives, and the deployment of 5G are all driving demand for cloud-native computing.
7) Cloud Data Services
As cloud adoption grows, it powers new business models, drives customer experience, and accelerates business intelligence. This rapid adoption and migration of data, along with creating new and insightful data intelligence, requires robust cloud data services and governance.
- AWS, the leader in cloud services, has invested heavily in the data space. One of the most innovating new initiatives they have introduced is Open Data. It allows anyone to share data on AWS; the goal is to reduce time to acquire data and spend more time on analysis.
- Azure is betting heavily on Analytical and Predictive power by re-architecting their core cloud data services around operational and analytic data stores, complementing improved memory and cloud-compute capabilities.
- Google Cloud has been the front-runner in embracing big data by developing related services for a long time. It has range of services across Ingest, Store, Process, Analysis, Explore, and Visualization of data.
8) Multi-Cloud Adoption
More large enterprises are opting for a multi-cloud strategy. Multi-cloud, by definition, is leveraging multiple cloud services from one or more providers. These can be a combination of Public and Private clouds. The Flexera State of Cloud Report 2020 reveals that 93% of enterprises prefer a multi-cloud strategy for these benefits: avoiding vendor lock-in, leveraging competitive pricing, network performance, robust security, and enhanced risk management.
With the advent of multiple cloud providers, data management is becoming increasingly significant. Platform and software vendors will need to add capabilities to manage hybrid and multi-cloud platform solutions that accelerate the build, configuration, and deployment of applications seamlessly across on-premises and multi-cloud platforms.
Cloud computing is not new, but its recent growth, particularly due to COVID-19, has prompted large enterprises to increase and escalate their cloud-adoption plans. Globally, cloud spend estimates have been revised upward are now expected to reach $832.1 billion by 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets.
This accelerated move to the cloud is driving the need for innovative cloud technologies that include cloud automation, developer productivity for cloud transformation, cloud integration services, confidential computing, edge computing, cloud-native processing, data services and governance, and multi-cloud adoption. These are the cloud computing trends that will continue to be in focus throughout 2021.