Cloud computing is one of the key factors that has kept the world economy going and supply chains moving in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The cloud has facilitated business continuity in the enterprise by enabling millions of personnel to work from home and smoothly access their data, files, and apps, radically changing their business models in the space of a few months.
Forrester Research claimed that “cloud has taken center stage in the pandemic recovery” and revised its estimate of the worth of the global public cloud infrastructure market upwards from $113 billion to $120 billion.
“The effects of COVID-19 will linger throughout 2021, as businesses will look to lay a foundation for increased agility,” Dustin Milberg, CTO of Cloud Services at InterVision, told CRN. “Cloud will take a key focus in this goal, given its benefits of improved accessibility, scalability, and flexibility.”
As workplaces have become increasingly decentralized in the aftermath of the pandemic, enterprise technology needs have correspondingly grown more complex. However, the advances in certain technologies, software, and services associated with cloud computing are enabling businesses to improve operational processes and accelerate delivery.
How these will pan out in 2021, minus the customary hype about AI, VR, and IoT?
Public cloud is the very definition – and lies at the core – of cloud computing. The public cloud market can only inflate in size as changing consumer behavior in the wake of the pandemic forces companies to prioritize customer experience (CX) – i.e. ease of use and speed of service – over cost savings.
“As a company, our focus shifted from running a business to achieve our financial plan to functioning as an essential retailer operating in a pandemic,” said Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowe’s, who built and got a curbside pick-up app up and running on Google Cloud in just three days.
“The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the new normal, now more than ever.”
Considering these changes, Gartner predicted that global end-user spending on public cloud services will grow 18.4% to $304.9 billion in 2021 from $257.5 billion in 2020.