If there is one thing that we are all hoping for with what 2021 may hold for us is a somewhat “business-as-usual” year following the unprecedented situation that 2020 presented us with. One thing that has been evident, though, is that there has been a huge amount of growth in cloud computing, app-based ecosystems and also there has been a huge number of businesses shifting to push digital plans into place earlier than expected.
The cloud is largely at the centre of all of this, and ensuring business continuity through the pandemic has been a large driver of the methodology and work behind much of this change in what is considered as “normal” working practices. Whether that’s something affecting employees or clients; it’s arguably been one of the biggest years of change to business practices in recent memory. Going forward into 2021, the biggest thing is that businesses are now realising the benefits of cloud and web-enabled bespoke tech and software – and this will long continue into the new year and beyond.
According to a recent post by CloudTech, the amount of spending by businesses within public cloud software and services is expected to explode massively from $229bn in 2019, to a doubled $500bn by 2023 – this is seeing an annual growth rate compounded; of 22.3%. Some of the main names that you hear within this space regularly such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Alibaba and Microsoft Azure are all expected to take the reins in this growth and be elevated to new heights as a result. It is expected that by the end of next year, 60% of businesses will be using these public cloud platforms; and around 25% of the developers for these will end up being serverless; with all of their activity now based within the cloud.
So, as this growth is going to boom as expected, here are three things that you should look out for in 2021:
Computing without antiquated servers
As briefly mentioned above, cloud server technology will enable businesses to implement functions within their existing architecture and infrastructure completely in the cloud without the pressure on existing internal servers. The CEO of Microsoft; Satya Nadella has been on record saying that he favours serverless cloud technology and believes that it can become the future for distributed computing; putting the emphasis on back-end computing to ensure that systems and workloads are managed in a robust and fluid manner.
According to the Flexera 202 state of the cloud report, serverless was one of the top five fastest growing cloud services this year and we expect this to continue in 2021.
Providers will join with hybrid cloud
One of the many challenges of choosing the cloud providers for businesses has been whether to go with a public, private or some form of hybrid environment – there are multiple advantages of both elements including things such as performance, security and the flexibility of access etc. In a report by Gartner, in 2019 the number of companies that were using hybrid cloud systems – a mixture of both private and public instances; actually increased to 58%; up from 52% in 2018. It is expected that this beneficial mix of latency, control and security will ultimately see more businesses adopting a hybrid version of cloud technology into 2021.
This could then see the big players as aforementioned more lenient to opening their borders to allow cross-compatibility; which will certainly make more sense for the end-user. But there has been a reluctance to do this previously, so only time will tell to see if they will open up better data-sharing and enable diverse applications across their varied platforms.
Desktops within the cloud
This particular element of having an entire environment for people to “log-in” to completely in the cloud is nothing really that new, but is something that is gaining traction especially since people have been working from home much more in 2020 thanks to the pandemic. This is in reality, an area where people from anywhere can simply login to their desktop from anywhere, with just a few basic hardware setups and access to the login area. This is beneficial for a business because it means that the virtual cloud desktop user only pays for the usage of the cloud, which will completely reduce the costs of an extra hardware – whether thats the initial cost of the costs to upgrade etc.
This particular model of working and computing already exists through the Windows Virtual Desktop service, Amazon’s workplaces app and Google also offers this in-kind through their chromebook laptops – this ensures that there is a seamless switch between office and home or remote-working, as well as the ability to collaborate with others easily and effectively as long as you’re somewhere with an internet connection.
The cloud in 2021 is going to become a major player in the way that businesses both operate and also allow their customers to interact with them. With working from home looking like it may be here to stay for the foreseeable future, businesses who do not adopt these practices will inevitably begin to lag behind. But the benefits are rife for those who are proactive, so ensure that you stay up to date with the latest technology and trends to allow your business to flourish.
Here’s to a prosperous and hopefully a somewhat vastly improved “new-normal” in 2021!