Looking Back to Look Forward: Experts Share Cloud Service Trends for 2021

Posted in: Business Insights, Cloud, Series

You’ve heard it before: The pandemic accelerated digital transformation. And indeed, organizations stood up temporary technology solutions and expanded cloud services virtually overnight. Organizations took extraordinary measures to ensure necessary employee support, uninterrupted services to customers, and that business kept moving forward. The primary focus was to remain viable and solvent, even if that meant flying forward at a million miles an hour and never looking back.

Now, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, it’s time to revisit the road that got us here. There is much to celebrate. But, if we’re honest, the quick-fire cloud adoption has also left things in a bit of a mess. There are service gaps and overlaps. Cloud costs are out of control.

The question is: Where do we go from here? For inspiration, we spoke with some amazing leaders in cloud services. Read on for insights to help get your digital transformation and cloud services back on track — and on budget. 

How the Pandemic Affected Cloud Services 

There are reasons why organizations have historically taken a more measured approach to cloud adoption, and it’s not just the fear of change. Infrastructure and processes are fundamental to ongoing success and a stellar return on investment (ROI). As we progress, organizations will need to refine digital and cloud strategies for optimal outcomes and spend. Below industry experts share their observations.

Digital Transformation Varied Across Industries

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Lewis
CTO, Pythian

LinkedIn | Twitter

The pandemic affected all industries in unplanned ways.  

Some industries, such as tourism and movie theaters had to refocus how they spent capital instead of operating expenses for IT. While others, such as media streaming and video conferencing services, exceeded expectations. These organizations refocused IT budgets and watched for potential performance and security problems that might arise from dramatic increases in IT. 

Most organizations had some changes to their services that involved an in-person requirement, like wet signatures on a mortgage or in-store pickup of products. These organizations had to become agile overnight introducing new e-commerce and supply chain arrangements.

The pandemic affected all industries in unplanned ways. Most organizations had some changes to their services meaning they had to become agile overnight introducing new e-commerce and supply chain arrangements. @paullewiscto Click to Tweet

The Speed and Elasticity of Cloud

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Moyse
Chief Revenue Officer, OneUp Sales

LinkedIn | Twitter

COVID proved on a global scale, the speed and elasticity that cloud offers. Digital transformation — the hyped mantra — pre-COVID was driven by potential gain; COVID overnight changed the driving factor to removing pain and bypassed many traditional evaluation processes. Cloud needs to be a pragmatic and balanced decision that encompasses how it integrates or replaces the existing tech stack. 

Cloud needs to be a pragmatic and balanced decision that encompasses how it integrates or replaces the existing tech stack. @imoyse Click to Tweet

Cloud Computing Trends in 2021

So which cloud computing trends can organizations expect for the remainder of 2021 and beyond? How will FinOps leaders face the challenges ahead? According to experts, leaders will need to evaluate new cloud options, prioritizing flexibility while also reducing risks to the organization.

Multiple and Hybrid Cloud Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

Shelly Kramer
Principal Analyst & Founding Partner, Futurum Research

LinkedIn | Twitter

We are already seeing cloud offerings on a consumption basis so that you pay for what you need as you go. This is a big benefit for organizations of all sizes, being able to rapidly scale up and down as needed — and not be locked into costs that don’t equate to usage. 

We are also seeing more hybrid cloud adoption, and I don’t see that changing. Clients are looking for opportunities to avoid vendor lock-in and want to use cloud platforms as needed throughout the organization — which often means the adoption of multiple clouds and embracing a hybrid cloud strategy. That’s a good thing. 

Cloud offerings can now be offered on a consumption basis so that you pay for what you need as you go. This is a big benefit for organizations of all sizes, being able to rapidly scale up and down as needed. @ ShellyKramer Click to Tweet

Monitoring the Rise of Shadow IT

Ian Moyse headshot

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Moyse
Chief Revenue Officer, OneUp Sales

LinkedIn | Twitter

We can expect shadow IT to accelerate as non-IT line-of-business owners make their own choices with their budgets to deploy cloud, especially SaaS, outside of IT processes and procurement. While empowering, this has the potential to introduce security risks to the organization.

We can expect shadow IT to accelerate as non-IT line-of-business owners make their own choices with their budgets to deploy cloud. @imoyse Click to Tweet

Accelerated Innovation with Expanded Applications 

paul lewis headshot

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Lewis
CTO, Pythian

LinkedIn | Twitter

Other than data and analytics, no other technology category has as much real-time innovation as cloud – and diversification becomes the biggest trend. New services will be created to implement diverse design patterns. Existing services will be displaced or consolidated as new services are developed as needed 

Additionally, cloud will become distributed. This trend assumes that workloads will be developed to run in multiple destinations, from hyper-scale cloud computing, to internal data centers, to edge devices running in-store, to edge devices running on a mobile device, all managed and controlled within a single cloud portal. 

Cloud will also become the backbone of cybersecurity management, including the control plane for identity and access control, device management, network and intrusion control. Cloud will become a multi-layer force for the entire ecosystem of integration implemented with a zero-trust design pattern. 

Cloud will become a multi-layer force for the entire ecosystem of integration implemented with a zero-trust design pattern. @paullewiscto Click to Tweet

Looking Forward with Improved Cloud Services

Right-sizing your cloud means you’ll have the agility to safely and efficiently support digital transformation without unnecessary spending. Read more about optimizing the future of cloud in our white paper: An Introduction to Cloud Cost Optimization. 

And a special thank you to our technology experts for sharing their thoughts on this essential topic. Follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the most important technology topics. 

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