The cloud helped many organisations and governments handle the chaos that was 2020. It’s also proved to be a life jacket for companies struggling to maintain business continuity, and pivotal in the hurried switch to remote working.
In 2021, cloud will prove to be just as important to business recovery, but more importantly, it will continue to evolve.
Here are three of the most likely ways cloud technology could do that.
Cloud providers band together more
The big companies that offer cloud services have thus far had a vested interest in keeping their customers inside their respective ecosystems.
But as companies have increasingly made use of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, it’s become apparent that each one offers its own advantages and disadvantages. This has led many organisations to conclude that a healthy mix of all three types of cloud services is the best way to take full advantage of the cloud.
Hybrid has seen the largest growth, with Gartner saying that the number of companies using hybrid in 2019 were 6% up from 2018’s figures, and that trend has only increased on 2020.
This continued favouring of hybrid cloud could prompt the big providers to move away from their “walled garden” approach in 2021, and work more closely together and create new ways for their respective solutions to inter-operate.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to become more popular
The appeal of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is that it puts every employee’s desktop environment in the cloud. This gives the organisation total control over the software each employee needs and reduces the need for expensive computer hardware to access business resources.
Basically, all an employee needs is a low-powered computer attached to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, connected to the internet. Once they connect to the company’s network, they gain access to their virtual desktop, which is configured with all of the software they need. All of the processing needed to run that software is done in the cloud, and their software performs as if it’s running on high-end local hardware.
All of this radically drops the business’s cost per employee, and standardises the software environment that everyone accesses.
So as businesses look more towards recovery in 2021 as the pandemic (hopefully) winds down, VDI could see major uptake.
Serverless to gain ground
This one was quite a popular buzzword as 2020 shut down: “serverless” computing – also called Platform as a Service – means a company gets to run all of the software they would traditionally need a server for, natively in the cloud.
They no longer need to operate or manage servers and can focus their efforts on their core products and applications instead.
Gartner has described serverless computing as “…an architecture that could eliminate infrastructure provisioning and management, while being application-centric”. The firm has also predicted the serverless computing market could be worth upwards of 30 billion dollars by 2025.
Watch this space
2020 was a tumultuous year, so who really knows what will happen in 2021? But with the above three trends making inroads, it will certainly be interesting on the cloud front.