3 cloud computing trends to watch in 2021

The technology has had another rapid growth year. But it's not just growing quickly, it's evolving quickly too.
1 December 2020

3 cloud trends to watch in 2021. Source: Shutterstock

  • Cloud is the backbone of the data-driven, app-based tech ecosystem that has been vital in helping us manage an unpredictable year
  • 2020 has nudged many budding startups and large enterprises to avail of cloud services to ensure business continuity

Technology has enabled businesses to continue operating this year, and the cloud has taken center stage — going forward, it will only play a larger role in the enterprise. 

According to CloudTech, public cloud spending is expected to grow from US$229 billion in 2019 to US$500 billion in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3%.

Key players Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba, and are expected to grow yet bigger, and by the end of 2021, 60% of companies will leverage containers on public cloud platforms and 25% of developers will use serverless.

As this market continues its growth and evolution, here are three trends to watch in 2021.

Serverless computing

A cloudless server is a technology that implements functions in the cloud on a necessary basis. Enterprises rely on serverless computing because it provides space to work on core products without the pressure to operate or manage servers. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella favors serverless cloud and he believes serverless computing can not only respond and focus on back-end computing but also become key to the imminent future for distributed computing. 

Serverless was among the top five fastest-growing PaaS cloud services for 2020, according to the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud report.

Hybrid cloud joins providers

Choosing between public, private, or hybrid cloud environments, has proved challenging for some organizations — each offers advantages and disadvantages when it comes to flexibility, performance, security, and compliance.

According to Gartner, in 2019, the actual number of companies using hybrid cloud was 58%, up 6% from 2018. Hybrid cloud benefits include speed, control, and security. In terms of speed, it optimizes the network to reduce the latency and speeds up the data so that it can reach where it needs to be. For control, companies can customize the end of their hybrid cloud model, optimize it, and adjust it according to their needs rather than trusting a third-party cloud provider.

The continued demand for hybrid cloud could lead the world’s biggest providers to partially break out from their walled garden approach. By collaborating and introducing some interoperability, they can continue to satisfy multi-cloud demands. This will enable better data sharing and access between partners, who may be working across diverse applications and standards.

Virtual Cloud Desktops

A virtual cloud desktop refers to the software requirements of a device being fully managed by cloud service providers. The user just needs to have a screen and some basic hardware while the rest of the processing power will be seamlessly handled by cloud-based services. 

Virtual cloud desktop users only pay on cloud usage, eliminating costs associated with acquiring powerful new hardware, updating the existing hardware, and the disposal of redundant computing equipment.

Sometimes known as desktop-as-a-service, this model of computing is offered by Amazon via the Workspaces platform and Microsoft with Windows Virtual Desktop. Google also offers functionality through its Chromebook devices. In practice, this can increase efficiency across a workforce by ensuring everyone is using up-to-date, synchronized technology.