The adoption of cloud computing has been increasing rapidly, with public cloud-specific spending expected to grow at 18.4 per cent in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020. Digitally transforming enterprises are among the leading contributors of the public cloud demand. Further, Covid-19 has only given a shot in the arm for greater adoption of the cloud. According to IDC, 64 per cent of organisations in India are expected to increase their demand for cloud computing and 56 per cent for cloud software to support the new normal. Further, Deloitte highlights that alongside cybersecurity, cloud computing will be an essential technology for businesses to continue to thrive in a post-Covid world.

A look at some of the key trends in cloud technology that will shape the market in the future.

Key trends

Growing popularity of hybrid cloud solutions

Organisations often find it challenging to make a choice from a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment. However, as cloud ecosystems have matured, hybrid or multi-cloud environments have grown in popularity. A hybrid cloud offers greater flexibility to organisations by combining the advantages of private and public clouds. In a hybrid cloud, users can choose individual elements of service providers’ offerings to obtain tailor-made solutions to their systems and applications that best fit their needs. Besides, advantages such as scalability, advanced speed and security are driving the growth and adoption of hybrid cloud.

Market domination by SaaS

As enterprises are enabling remote working for most of their employees, software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based applications and tools have seen a strong surge in its demand. According to Gartner, SaaS remains the largest market segment and is forecast to grow to $117.7 billion in 2021. Going forward, SaaS will continue to grow, owing to its computing power and agility. Further, Gartner predicts that platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is anticipated to grow by a higher margin than SaaS at 26.6 per cent, next year. The demand growth of PaaS is mainly driven by the need of remote workers for scalable infrastructure, which largely comes in the form of modernised and cloud-native applications.

Availability of multi-cloud model

According to industry experts, besides hybrid cloud models, the availability of the the multi-cloud model will see an uptick among large enterprise service providers. For instance, to offer greater cloud capacities and expanded services, several multi-cloud partnerships are made by major players in the industry such as AWS, Google, SAP and Microsoft. This allows room for collaboration among businesses, which are focused on organising and sharing data among their own partners with different applications.

Virtual cloud desktops

Also known as desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), the software requirements on a virtual cloud desktop is fully managed by cloud service providers. The DaaS model eliminates costs associated with acquiring new hardware, or updating the existing ones. That apart, this model increases efficiency across the workforce by ensuring up-to-date and synchronised technology for users. As a result, the DaaS model continues to gain prominence.

FaaS implementation in cloud

Function-as-a-service (FaaS) is the main sub-part of the cloud computing service, specifically, serverless computing. It mainly focuses on storage, gateways, competitions and application programming interface. FaaS is a simpler assistance than infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and DaaS. Owing to this, industry expects that by 2021, more tech giants will pick FaaS as a tool for their normal work.

Distributed cloud to expand service availability

According to industry experts, by 2023, leading cloud service providers are expected to have a distributed presence. This will be focused on serving a subset of their services for low latency application requirements and will enable applications to run directly from the cloud providers’ native services without having to build additional infrastructure.

Covid-19 as a catalyst

Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst for the adoption of cloud among enterprises. According to industry reports, the global impact of the pandemic on the market size of cloud is expected to grow from $233 billion in 2019 to $295 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 per cent. This growth will be largely driven by factors such as rise in demand for cloud-based business continuity tools and services and suitability of public cloud environment for the current unprecedented scenario. In addition, the need of enterprises to support remote workforce has boosted the demand growth.

In the aftermath of Covid-19, Gartner predicts that the proportion of IT spending that is shifting to the cloud will accelerate. Cloud is projected to make up 14.2 per cent of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1 per cent in 2020. In fact, almost 70 per cent of organisations using cloud services at present plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by the pandemic.