6 Cloud Trends to Watch in 2021 January 13, 2021 The cloud played a central role in the global pandemic response, so we can expect cloud trends in 2021 to build upon the transformations that took place and be shaped by steps toward recovery. In response to the pandemic, organizations that had been resisting change found that they needed to quickly adapt by rapidly moving to the cloud. Formerly stalled digital transformation plans rapidly went into effect and previously underfunded technologies were adopted overnight. Cloud technology rose to the occasion by keeping millions of people around the world connected. As workplaces suddenly became decentralized, cloud technology helped businesses safely serve their customers and provided environments for innovation to solve problems worldwide. Even vaccine research relied on the cloud. While there’s no question the cloud was already poised for growth at the start of 2020, it can be argued that this crisis validated its value proposition. With the world’s increased reliance on cloud services it’s quickly become the new normal. In 2021, we expect this accelerated momentum to continue as technology continues to rapidly innovate in order to meet new challenges. Here are six cloud trends to look for in 2021. 1. Multi-Cloud and Joint Cloud Solutions For the past decade, cloud providers have focused on building all-in-one solutions, with the goal of making one platform that encompasses all of the customer’s requirements. Major public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform offered one-stop shops for cloud, data and computing needs, taking a walled approach with no interconnectivity. Now, managed cloud providers recognize they can best capitalize on their strengths by partnering to enhance offerings and accelerating go-to-market launches with infrastructure deployed across multiple cloud providers. Trends show a rise in developing multi-cloud environments based on interconnected relationships between cloud vendors that take advantage of each company’s respective specialized capabilities. Even competitors are realizing the value of linking their clouds for the convenience of their joint customers. In 2021, more and more big providers will be working to change their business model in order to meet their customer demand by creating bridges between their platforms. In adopting a more collaborative approach, both the customers and the cloud vendors will benefit from streamlining data, working more efficiently across diverse applications, simplifying processes and accelerating innovation overall. Managed service providers bring skill and experience to the table to help your organization tap into multi-cloud offerings. 2. Hybrid Cloud Solutions One of the biggest challenges many organizations have faced when moving to the cloud has been choosing between a public or private cloud environment. While hybrid cloud solutions aren’t new, they are becoming more popular as cloud ecosystems have matured. Rather than being constrained by one-size-fits-all off-the-shelf solutions, hybrid cloud environments can offer the best of all options with the flexibility to suit each organization’s specific requirements. Additionally, hybrid solutions enable the ability to optimize the network to increase speed, reduce latency and improve security. Increasingly, MSPs are offering organizations the option to consolidate by adopting individual elements from among a variety of offerings to meet user needs. For example, your organization might need to store and process customer data on-premise or in a private controlled environment while providing content delivery through a public cloud. If you operate in an industry vertical where certain data may not be suitable for or permitted on a public cloud, an MSP can integrate public cloud workloads with a managed private cloud hosting service to deliver a hybrid solution that meets the compliance and regulatory requirements of your own clients. 3. Managing Cloud Complexity With so many organizations moving to the cloud in 2020, we can expect 2021 to be the year in which managing complexity becomes an issue that needs to be addressed. Due to pandemic response and to keep up with rapidly evolving technology in the marketplace, many organizations rushed to move to the cloud without adequate planning and will need to smooth things over, correct mistakes, mitigate problems and normalize their architecture. In enterprise settings, arrays of disconnected cloud projects are being managed on multiple platforms. In many cases, this is inefficient, redundant and expensive, while also creating more instances for greater security risks. It’s important to understand the cloud is a journey, not a destination. The goal isn’t just to move your organization there, but to recognize that it’s an interactive process that needs to be continuously optimized to match your organization’s immediate and long-term goals. MSPs have the expertise to mediate the complexity, correct architectural mistakes, reel in costs and rectify management problems. 4. Serverless Computing Cloud-native, serverless technology is expected to spike in 2021 and beyond, enabling organizations to build, migrate and modernize customer-facing apps at scale. This is projected to become key to the future of distributed computing. Serverless computing provides space for developers to work on core products without the concerns of managing and operating servers. New real-time IT applications are being developed, accelerating innovation by using serverless computing models. A serverless cloud approach is considered the next evolution for application architecture and a new paradigm for how apps will be designed and developed going forward. 5. Virtual Cloud Desktops Increasingly, more workers will be using virtual cloud desktops—a complete workstation delivered as a managed cloud service. This trend is on the rise as it allows employers to use a cost-efficient subscription model that eliminates the expense of updating hardware and comes with a number of additional benefits. Virtual cloud desktops enable greater workforce efficiency and improved security by ensuring all employees are operating with the latest, updated, synchronized technology. With virtual cloud desktops, organizations can manage workstations in a centralized manner, eliminating the need to keep individual systems and hardware up-to-date or relying on network users to follow best practices. It’s also easier to contain costs and remain flexible as workers join or leave the organization by simply increasing or decreasing your subscription. 6. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) In 2021, on-premise disaster recovery sites are expected to become increasingly obsolete as organizations opt for cloud disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). In the past, organizations avoided this switch due to security risks, infrastructure technology mismatches, networking concerns, licencing issues and application portability. Now, improvements have been made to remove barriers. By choosing the right MSP that offers DRaaS, organizations have more control over their disaster recovery plan with reliable, flexible managed cloud solutions and faster failover with automated failover and failback. Cloud Trends 2021 In 2021, the world will be focused on continued response and recovery from the pandemic. Just as the cloud played a central part in meeting the challenges we faced in its wake, it will also assume a leading role in the recovery and beyond. Cloud technology has helped to transform the way we all work and live and we’ll continue to build upon the aggressive adoption and rapid innovation that accelerated change for now and for years to come. If your organization is looking to move to the cloud in 2021 or correct problems that arose from your cloud migration in 2020 or earlier, contact us. Carbon60 is an MSP dedicated to helping businesses maximize the performance and security of their core application infrastructure with an agnostic cloud approach using public and hosted private clouds. A partner with both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure along with major cloud and data centre technology companies, we have the experience and the expertise to support organizations wherever they might be on their cloud journey.