Public Cloud Services To Accelerate As Companies Seek Resilience
Public cloud services are becoming such a go-to strategy for IT leaders that the industry analyst Garter estimates spending on these services will be close to half a trillion dollars in 2022 ($482bn). The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a desire for companies to build resilience into their IT systems and a move to applications and data in public clouds has been the almost universal response.
But there are other trends helping the use of public cloud to accelerate. Garter identifies four specific trends in their own research. The four trends are: cloud ubiquity, regional cloud ecosystems, sustainability and carbon-intelligent cloud, and cloud infrastructure and platform service (CIPS) providers’ automated programmable infrastructure. Let’s consider each of these important trends in turn:
The cloud now underpins most innovation and resilience strategies. New systems and applications can be designed and tested without the need for upfront capital expenditure on architecture and data centers. The cloud in general has been proven to offer more flexibility, speed, resilience, and scalability than internal solutions — meaning that this is a solution that is better, but also more efficient and cost-sensitive.
Gartner forecasts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $396 billion in 2021 and grow 21.7% to reach $482 billion in 2022. By 2026, Gartner predicts public cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending, up from less than 17% in 2021. If almost half of all IT budget is focused on cloud services, that demonstrates how a cloud strategy is becoming ubiquitous.
Regional cloud ecosystems
Many regulated areas, such as public sector services or finance, are exploring how to avoid single-points of failure with their cloud provider and are therefore creating regional ecosystems. There are political and regulatory factors that are causing this, from differing data protection standards, even through to political protectionism.
Sustainability and carbon-intelligent cloud
Most executives now believe that climate change will have a future effect on their business. This is leading cloud providers to focus on how to offer carbon-neutral cloud services that can help companies achieve their ESG goals. This creates new challenges for infrastructure services, not least the energy use in cooling cloud data centers.
Automated programmable infrastructure
Machine Learning is increasingly being applied to the management of cloud services. This creates an environment where the cloud infrastructure is programmable and the management and operation can be more automated. This will change the routine administration of most cloud services.
Taken as a whole these four trends, and the financial investment figures detailed by Gartner, are extremely interesting and demonstrate that public cloud services have gone far beyond the tipping point where most executives start exploring their options.
The sheer ubiquity of cloud services in post-Covid highly resilient IT infrastructure cannot be ignored. Industries as diverse as customer service and e-commerce have all found that a public cloud offers dramatically more flexibility combined with resilience. Many cloud service providers have talked about the advantages of the cloud for several years now, but it has taken the Covid-19 pandemic for executives to really see that there is no alternative — any company that wants to build resilience in 2022 has to explore this option.