The year 2020 has been significant for cloud computing, as more people than ever before have begun to work from home, and companies have sought to decentralize their computer systems. Moving forward, the cloud computing industry will likely change a great deal to include a move toward space-based cloud networks. In 2021, businesses are expected to demand greater flexibility with their cloud networks, as many people continue to work from home. While cloud technology has largely enabled the world to continue moving during the pandemic, further development lies around the corner. The following are some advancements in cloud technology that we will likely see in 2021:
1. An emphasis on cybersecurity
For many years, cybersecurity has been a primary concern for companies across the world. With so many people now working remotely, the need for advanced cybersecurity has emerged in many boardrooms. More opportunities for significant data disruption exist than ever before, and technology executives are becoming increasingly concerned about data loss, privacy, and confidentiality. Up to this point, most executives have taken little action to protect their data from cybercriminals, which has increased anxiety. While the cloud has some built-in cybersecurity, executives will play a larger role in demanding higher levels moving forward, and cloud companies will need to offer new forms of security to remain competitive in the marketplace.
2. The evolving role of the CIO
The chief information officer has likely already taken on more responsibility in the past year as processes move to the cloud. In 2021, it is likely that the CIO will become the de facto chief innovation officer as the needs of companies continue to evolve and new technologies are needed to address them. Companies are increasingly investing in technology as the key to maintaining solvency in an uncertain environment, and the CIO leads this charge. More than ever before, users’ experience with technology will determine a company’s profitability, making it critical that companies have flexible, dependable, and well-run systems. The CIO has likely already assumed responsibility for the cloud and will continue to drive integration with the rest of the company’s technology.
3. A move toward Edge and 5G
As companies work to support their remote employees, they will likely look into new technologies, including Edge computing and 5G. In some corporate environments, 5G will likely replace WiFi, particularly since privately deployed 5G provides a continuous, dependable connection while also improving and simplifying security processes. Private 5G can drive the Internet of Things (IoT) in the corporate environment and facilitate new advancements. While the move toward 5G will ultimately depend on affordability, disruptions in Internet subscriptions will be more likely to occur before the end of 2021. Given the sheer number of remote offices and facilities that require Internet service, 5G may end up being the cheapest option for some corporations, particularly larger ones.
4. Significant growth in coding
The traditional solution stack for cloud-based computing is quickly becoming obsolete as organizations move quickly toward a code-first open network architecture. In 2021, infrastructure-as-code may become the dominant approach as organizations continually refine their technologies for their own needs. Code-focused principles such as CloudOps will determine each organization’s cloud experience as companies fine-tune their systems. Coding can speed up the evolution of core applications and provide advanced security and compliance, not to mention focused analytics. Infrastructure-as-code can empower CIOs to drive automation and facilitate unprecedented collaboration to impact the bottom line in a meaningful and lasting way.
5. The trend toward virtual desktops
A virtual cloud desktop means that users only need a screen and basic hardware to operate in this environment. The software requirements of the device are fully managed within the cloud, which provides all the necessary processing power. Through this setup, users will only need to pay for the use of the cloud services and can eliminate many of the costs associated with acquiring new hardware or updating existing devices. Companies need to make only a minimal investment in hardware and then all updates come remotely from the cloud. This model is also known as desktop-as-a-service. Companies such as Microsoft and Amazon already offer this technology, and Google has a similar setup with its Chromebook devices. Using virtual desktops helps to ensure that all devices are up to date and synchronized with one another.
6. A focus on serverless computing
The CEO of Microsoft has already stated that a serverless cloud makes the most sense for companies. Through this technology, functions are implemented in the cloud whenever necessary. Companies can use this technology to dedicate space to working on core products without the added pressure of operating or managing servers. Serverless computing has the ability to focus on back-end computing, facilitate quick responses, and serve as a key stepping-stone toward distributed computing. This technology was among the fastest-growing cloud services in 2020, according to a recent report. Ultimately, it could facilitate the modernization of enterprise applications and open up new business continuity strategies.