The cloud computing market is expected to dramatically grow in the coming years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent transformation of working environments, and more enterprises moving their daily operations from on-premises solutions to the cloud.
As demand for cloud computing continues to grow and diversify, cloud computing providers continue to offer new and modified services to meet the need.
See below to learn about the state of the cloud market:
The State of the Cloud Computing Market
Read next: The Pros and Cons of Edge Computing
Cloud computing today
Cloud computing is already a staple at most medium-sized businesses and enterprises, and an increasing number of small businesses are adopting cloud computing solutions to make their operations more agile.
Experts are noticing that increased adoption has also expanded cloud computing use cases for many businesses.
“Cloud computing is much more holistic today than ever before,” said Neil Parekh, VP of cloud services at Netrix. “In the past, most cloud adoptions were based on an application need or a particular use case. Today, cloud adoption incorporates nearly the entire IT stack outside of necessary on-premise[s] equipment, such as routing and switching.”
Cloud solutions are also taking several forms: public cloud; private cloud; hybrid cloud; and multicloud.
Cloud computing market
The global cloud computing market reached $250.04 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9%, reaching $791.48 billion by 2028, according to Fortune Business Insights.
While a large portion of the growth is coming from companies that sped up their digital transformation efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increased drive for machine learning (ML) powered business operations and the growth of big data are making the scalability and immediacy of cloud computing more enticing to businesses.
More on AI/ML trends: AI Software Trends for 2021
Cloud computing providers
A variety of large enterprises and small specialized companies provide cloud computing technology and services, but several major providers dominate the cloud market:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud
- IBM Cloud
- Oracle Cloud
- Dell Technologies/VMware
- Alibaba Cloud
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Amazon, Microsoft, and Google Cloud lead the pack for cloud vendors, but each of these leaders offers different specialties, according to Parekh.
“Microsoft Azure and AWS are the top players we see in the mainstream corporate markets, with Google more prevalent in education,” Parekh said.
“Azure is making a strong push, as Microsoft has been rounding out their solution stack to cover hybrid cloud down to desktop management solutions.
“We are seeing an increase around Microsoft Intune for cloud-based device management and corporate policy enforcement to enhance security for the shift to hybrid work models.”
Read more: Big Data Market Review 2021
Cloud computing use cases
The majority of companies that lean on cloud computing solutions use the cloud in some of the following ways:
- Cloud storage
- ML/AI automation
- Hybrid cloud setups with existing infrastructure
- Cloud networking
- Cloud security monitoring
- Cloud collaboration tools
Here are some industry-specific use cases where companies make cloud computing work for their business needs:
“We were looking for a reliable way to develop an end-to-end Machine Learning application, which can be developed, tested, deployed in real time, and can be easily monitored. AWS provided us with all its strong compute services like Comprehend, Sagemaker models to build NER and Deep Learning Models. The training and inference process was automated using Step Functions and Lambda Functions which is a server-less function- again no need to worry about server configuration. Using cloud watch for monitoring model metrics and Dynamo DB for model versioning. So all these were available with AWS which prompted the business to go with AWS.” -Finance industry user, review of AWS at Gartner Peer Insights
“We were able to move all our IT operations to Azure and finally ditch our on-prem infrastructure. We are leveraging Azure AD for authentication and authorization including login into windows 10 machines directly to the cloud and securing and monitoring those machines using Intune. We moved all our apps and SQL server databases to Azure SQL and APP services. It’s been close to 4 years and the only issues we had have been 3 us-wide outages related to AD sign-in or DNS issues, that are fixed within a couple of hours. The fact that we don’t have to be on top of our core infrastructure as before, free us to work more on improving our security and operations and allow us to implement intrusion detection, alert and logs monitoring using sentinel, secret management using vault, better-caching strategies using their CDN network and Redis and continuous delivery on Azure DevOps.” -Education industry user, review of Microsoft Azure at Gartner Peer Insights
“Google Cloud Platform offers services related to computing, storing, networking, big data, and machine learning. GCP offers cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that Google also uses for products like Gmail, YouTube, etc. It has enabled our organization to provide specialized services in big data, machine learning, and analytics. It provides good scale and a very stable load balancing along with low response times. The excellent integration it provides with other Google services works as a plus point for our organization which uses many Google products. We switched to this platform to support employee productivity, improve efficiency, foster collaboration, and drive business innovations. All these are being achieved gradually leveraging GCP. Google Cloud Platform has truly contributed to our digital transformation.” -Media industry user, review of Google Cloud at Gartner Peer Insights
Benefits of cloud computing
Some businesses are wary about moving to the cloud because of the time, cost, and new skill sets that go into shifting data management models.
But many enterprises are continuing to make the switch and realizing some of these key benefits as a result:
- Real-time collaboration: The cloud makes real-time updates for data platforms and other applications possible, which makes accurate and flexible collaboration possible for all users.
- Scalable features: Cloud systems are fluid enough to scale to a company’s needs. With a pay-as-you-go model for storage, security, and other cloud-based services, businesses can easily scale forward or backward as their needs change.
- Remote and mobile access: A cloud setup makes remote and mobile access possible, expanding where employees can work and where companies can hire.
- Security monitoring and automation: Cloud providers typically double as cybersecurity providers, with automation and constant monitoring built into their systems.
- Disaster recovery and data management: The cloud saves the latest version of data and application updates, and it makes it easy to create backups. This setup not only improves data quality and data management capabilities, but also makes it easier to recover data in the case of a security breach.
Read next: Data Analytics Market Review 2021