What are new business models for the cloud in 2021?

Cloud technology has put massive amounts of computing power into the hands of businesses of all sizes. It’s also enabled many companies to shift to a remote model during the pandemic. During 2020, cloud computing skyrocketed as organizations sought ways to adapt to social distancing measures. According to a report by IT analytics firm Flexera, “the cloud has now become mainstream.” By mid-way through the year, 90 percent of organizations were using at least one cloud service.

Now that more companies have experienced the benefit of the cloud firsthand – greater flexibility, efficiency, security, and cost-savings – and with the whole business world eyeing ways to boost resilience, cloud usage is expected to increase even more. From 2020 to 2025, the global cloud computing market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.5 percent.

Let’s look at what’s in store for 2021 and how the cloud may shape business models in the future.

How business models will change with the cloud

Dustin Milberg, field chief technology officer for cloud services at InterVision says, “the effects of COVID-19 will linger throughout 2021, as businesses will look to lay a foundation for increased agility.” Many will go beyond simply running a few cloud-based productivity apps and storing data in the cloud. Business owners and IT leaders view the bigger picture and find ways to tailor their cloud strategy to their company’s unique needs.

This strategic, bespoke approach to cloud usage will allow many to adopt a more decentralized business model. Many companies plan to keep at least some of their workforce remote. With the cloud, a hybrid business model or even a fully remote model is possible. Others will use the cloud to change the way they interact with customers. Fewer brick-and-mortar stores and more consumer-facing apps and online purchasing, meetings, and learning will color the way businesses operate in the future.

Key differences between new and current cloud services

Businesses are exploring new ways to use the cloud.

  • Cloud-native technologies, including serverless technology and containers, enable companies to build customer-facing apps quickly and at scale. Before the pandemic, only 19 percent of developers regularly used serverless functions, and 22 percent regularly used containers. Now, these numbers have flipped, with only one-quarter of developers not using containers.
  • While software as a service (SaaS) will continue to be the most common type of cloud service, in 2021, more businesses will turn to Platform as a Service (PaaS). Remote business models will primarily drive this shift – remote workers will require scalable infrastructure run on cloud-native applications.
  • Companies will rely more on the edge, which is coined as the new cloud for 2021. According to Forrester,” new business models will emerge that facilitate the deployment of edge [computing].” Content delivery networks are already looking for distributed data centers to host applications near the people who use them. This will revamp the colocation marketplace as companies turn to smaller data centers to tap into their computing power. Another shift in this area will be AI. Machine learning models will start using the edge more instead of relying on the cloud.

How can you use the cloud to benefit your business?

From building native apps to empowering your remote workforce with a scalable cloud-based infrastructure, cloud technology continues to introduce new possibilities. The reality is, there are myriad ways your business can use the cloud. It’s important to develop a strategy aligned with business goals to benefit from the increased flexibility and agility the cloud offers. If you want to get the most out of cloud services, get in touch with the expert team at GB Tech. We’ll help you with every step of your cloud journey.