Cloud Trends to Watch Going into 2021

The pandemic may have accelerated plans, but cloud adoption will continue to increase even after the initial surge in working from home.

Cloud trends

Cloud adoption has consistently increased over the past decade, but cloud trends have included a decided boost in adoption in 2020. Matt Quinn, Chief Operating Officer of TIBCO, says, “Cloud computing allows digital transformation at the pace of innovation, so it’s no wonder that cloud adoption is a key tool for companies during the pandemic.”

The O’Reilly Cloud Adoption in 2020 report states that 88 percent of companies had some form of cloud infrastructure prior to the pandemic, and survey respondents, including software engineers, systems architects, CIOs and systems administrators, expect their cloud usage to grow through Q2 2021. Furthermore, the O’Reilly research reveals that 25 percent of companies plan to have all of their applications in the cloud by next year.

Quinn comments, “COVID-19 has made companies even more dependent on cloud computing with the seemingly unending work from home. To react to the pandemic and accommodate for a distributed workforce, companies have to be quick and agile.”

He adds that TIBCO, which provides solutions in the Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) space, saw a 100 percent increase in its cloud integration in the first period after the pandemic began. Additionally, he says TIBCO saw “an unseasonably large increase in cloud-based deployments across all cloud services” in early March, followed by year-over-year increases, stabilizing in July.

Cloud Adoption Across the Board

Quinn says cloud trends are impacting companies in all markets and of all sizes. “Companies are all shifting toward cloud adoption, though some more timidly than others. Companies who want to dip their toes in may feel more comfortable trying out a cloud platform with IaaS so they can continue to manage more of their workflow. Whereas other companies know where they’re facing deficiencies and want to make the entire move to SaaS,” he says.

“Whether one approach is more practical or valuable than the other depends entirely on whether the company is ready to commit to a full and long-term cloud strategy or if they’re seeing cloud adoption as a pandemic quick fix,” he comments.

Many businesses were forced to accelerate their plans to support work from home. Quinn says, “However, now that they’ve made the move, they’ve joined the ranks for many other companies who have adopted cloud infrastructure or are already cloud-native.”

Will Cloud Trends Continue into 2021?

Quinn stresses that rates of cloud adoption will not subside in the coming year. “Not only will cloud adoption continue into the future, but it will also evolve into multi-cloud adoption,” he says. “Once companies experience the benefits of one cloud vendor, they will want to expand their options and tools to as many as benefit the workforce. Adopting a multi-cloud strategy allows diverse geographic coverage as not every cloud vendor is in every single country and region.”

“Additionally, as cloud vendors continue their battle to be the best in breed, companies who use them will defray risk so that, until a winner is announced through the market and we have a standard, we have the flexibility to move between clouds thereby future-proofing and creating negotiation leverage,” Quinn adds.

“We’ve not seen cloud adoption leveling off, even pre-COVID. COVID has accelerated many companies’ plans, and we believe we will continue to see elevated levels of cloud adoption through 2021 and 2022,” he says.

In-Demand Services

As adoption and migration cloud trends continue into 2021, businesses will need support to accomplish them successfully. “Businesses need the most support with re-architecture,” says Quinn, “While some companies will be able to re-architect from their on-premises tools, many will need support. Fortunately, all cloud infrastructure vendors are very keen to make it easy to move workloads to the cloud.”

He says some companies will “lift and shift” workloads to the cloud, but in the long run, re-architecting is more beneficial. Simply shifting workloads to the cloud makes it harder to take advantage of cloud tools, which are often the biggest source of ROI. “Therefore, companies that don’t have the resources or the time to re-architect may outsource,” says Quinn.

“From a TIBCO perspective, what we see is that COVID-19 has pushed companies to evaluate their short-, medium- and long-term strategies when it comes to moving workloads to the cloud. We’ve seen a lot of quick lift and shift, giving way to a more considered refactoring and re-architecture of services, and that’s absolutely a place where service providers can add a tremendous amount of value in creating a sustainable roadmap for customers who need to make progress quickly,” he says.

Work from Home Will Continue to Influence Cloud Trends into 2021

Quinn comments that businesses will continue with their work from home policies for into the future. “This is having a dramatic impact on the types of products being built today,” he says. “Projects are shorter and more impactful rather than long-term and high investment. This will switch back as people figure out how to navigate creative project management remotely.”

“COVID-19 has allowed some organizations to embrace a lot more agility than perhaps was comfortable before – including moving to the cloud. It has broken through a lot of bureaucracy to make faster decisions in the moment because the needs require it,” Quinn says. “The challenge as we exit COVID-19 is how do we balance agile decision making to keep employee population safe as we blend what is going to be a hybrid world of work from home and limited office environment.”

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.

Zebra MC9400
Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.