Hackernoon logo8 Cloud Computing Trends to Watch in 2021 by@pete_20178

8 Cloud Computing Trends to Watch in 2021

Pete McCain Hacker Noon profile picture

@pete_20178Pete McCain

Pete McCain is a technology startup enthusiast, associated with AppVelocity.ca 

Cloud computing has grown exponentially in the past decade and is not about to stop. As predicted by Forrester’s research, the global public cloud infrastructure will grow 35% in 2021, many thanks to the pandemic. Due to the lingering effects of covid-19 in 2021, the cloud will be the key focus for organizations looking for increased scalability, business continuity, and cost-efficiency. 

With the increasing digital adoption and transition to the cloud, this year will be the launchpad for all the emerging trends in cloud computing. Here are the most significant trends expected to grow in 2021 and beyond. Let’s have a look!

1. Edge Computing

Edge computing is becoming increasingly popular with the trend of decentralization. It places data storage and computing closer to where the data is generated and consumed, as opposed to a centralized cloud. This processing on the ‘edge’ of the network reduces latency, provides faster real-time responsiveness and bandwidth optimization.

In 2021, surging trends like AI, ML, and 5G rollout will expand the use of the edge technology even further and trim 5 points from public cloud spending, according to a Forrester report. Many industry experts believe that cloud and edge computing will co-exist to deliver a true real-time experience to the end-users in 2021.

According to IDC, 40% of enterprises will double their IT spending on edge locations and nearby colocation facilities by 2022.

2. Scalable AI 

AI engineering is bound to reach new heights with the help of the cloud. Undoubtedly, one of the top tech trends in 2021, AI has become an invaluable tool during the pandemic.

AI projects are challenging to implement and often fail due to a lack of scalability, reliability, performance, and governance issues. But with cloud technologies like containers, serverless, Kubernetes, and powerful ML frameworks, organizations can build more responsible and scalable AI. 

With accelerating cloud adoption in 2021 and its affordability, more companies will prioritize AI. In McKinsey’s State of AI survey last year, over 50% of enterprises had adopted AI in at least one business function and saw reduced costs. As it generates more business value, 2021 will see widespread use of AI across industries.

3. Multi-cloud

IDC expects 2021 to be the year of multi-cloud, with a vast number of organizations deploying combinations of on-premise, public and private clouds.

Organizations are taking the multi-cloud approach for multiple reasons. Greater platform and service flexibility is the most important benefit of multi-cloud for 43% of enterprise IT leaders. Improving disaster recovery and gaining business continuity was is the second most important benefit, followed by cost savings, optimization, and avoiding vendor lock-in. 

With increasing multi-cloud environments, the cloud vendors are providing joint service offerings to take advantage of their mutual strengths. For example, in 2019, Microsoft and Oracle linked their clouds leveraging Oracle’s networking and Microsoft’s ML capabilities.

4. Serverless Computing

Serverless computing is another marvel of the cloud which will see large-scale adoption in 2021. It allows developers to code freely while all the infrastructure management is done by the cloud provider with a pay-for-value billing model. 

The Serverless Computing market is expected to grow with a CAGR of over 25% from 2021 to 2026. The serverless architecture enables organizations to build, deploy and run applications within seconds. Serverless for startups and SMEs have emerged as a vital cloud service because it significantly reduces time-to-market, lowers costs with automatic scaling, and innovates quickly to meet the customers’ growing expectations. 

5. Containers

Containerization is another rapidly growing tech trend. Containers are software packages containing the code and all the necessary components required to run an application. In containers, applications can run anywhere, whether a private data center, a cloud, or even a developer’s personal computer.

According to Gartner, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications by 2022. Developing with containers is growing popular because of faster delivery, agility, portability, scalability, and easier life-cycle management. In addition, containers are highly preferred to package ML models and support DevOps, serverless computing, and microservices.


SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)– a term coined by Gartner – is another cloud-based service making the headlines in 2021. SASE is a network architecture that combines VPN and software-defined WAN capabilities with cloud-native security services like secure web gateways, Zero-trust network access, cloud access security brokers, and firewall as a service. 

A Global Digital Transformation Survey by Sapio Research revealed that 64% of enterprises are adopting or plan to adopt SASE in the next 6 to 12 months. The pandemic-induced remote work culture has largely contributed to the adoption of SASE as it offers seamless security and high-performing reliable connectivity across cloud and hybrid networks.

7. Data Privacy and Governance

With accelerated migration to the cloud for digital transformation projects, data governance and compliance have become critical. As organizations move even more data to the cloud to support the new way of work and life after the pandemic, data security, privacy, and compliance will be top priorities in IT strategies this year.

“In 2021, security, privacy, and governance will become programmatically embedded early on in business processes. And every mission-critical business process will have security as a requirement before implementation”, according to Balaji Ganesan, co-founder and CEO of Privacera, a data governance and security solution provider and co-founder of Apache Ranger.

8. Data Democratization

All enterprises today want to be data-driven. It helps extract business value by better understanding the customers, markets, and competitors. Data democratization allows employees at all levels within an organization to access, explore and analyze data to make data-driven decisions.

Cloud computing has pushed the boundaries of what businesses can do with their data with the right BI, analytics, and big data tools. The cloud has totally transformed the way businesses store, analyze, visualize and share data any time and anywhere, making it democratized. And 2021 will see more enterprises tap into modern cloud data lakes to enable AI and ML capabilities. 

Concluding Remarks

Cloud computing empowered businesses of all sizes to stay afloat during the pandemic and will continue to be at the heart of IT for enterprises in 2021. These promising cloud trends will enable organizations to reach the full potential of the cloud and prove essential to growth in the coming years. So leverage these trends to open new doors of possibilities for your organization. It could be the beginning of a new era for the cloud indeed!


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