In 2021, cloud computing became the de facto choice of IT due to digital transformation shifts increased by remote work and the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a look at the cloud representatives add up, the hybrid market, and key SaaS players.
And while cloud service providers are implementing more multi-cloud structures, IT budgets are increasingly going to cloud giants. According to Flexera’s latest survey on IT budgets for 2021, a huge chunk of money is flowing to Microsoft Azure and its software-as-service products, as well as other cloud service providers.
Google Cloud Platform is also involved in big data and analytics workloads. But hybrid cloud and conventional data center vendors such as IBM, Dell Technologies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and VMware also have a role to play.
Meanwhile, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Adobe, and Workday are fighting SAP and Oracle for more wallet and corporate data sharing. Salesforce and ServiceNow have launched effective back-to-work facilitation suites and cemented roles as major cloud computing platforms.
The COVID-19 pandemic and switching to remote work and video conferencing are driving changes to the cloud. Enterprises increasingly see the cloud as a digital transformation engine, and also a technology that enhances business continuity. As work was forced to go remote due to stay-at-home orders, activities were mostly performed on cloud infrastructure.
Collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have become cogs in the larger cloud ecosystem of businesses. Zoom not only pays subscription revenue but also operates on cloud services such as AWS and Oracle.
Multi Cloud is both a selling point and an ambitious business target. Cloud providers are well aware of the vendor lock-in and want to abstract their applications so that they can be transferred around clouds.
The game is about the gathering of data. The more business data that remains in the cloud, the more the customer sticks to the provider. It’s no secret that cloud computing providers are pitching companies to use their services to store data for anything from analytics to personalized experience.
Every flavor of cloud provider wants to be a layer of management to handle your other clouds. Public cloud providers such as Google Cloud Platform and AWS provide offerings to handle different cloud services. Traditional business vendors such as Dell and HPE do the same.
AWS was an early pioneer in public cloud computing and has been a major player in AI, database, machine learning, and fewer server deployments.
AWS was the first organization to deliver cloud computing technology as a service in 2008 and has never looked back. It introduces new services at a breakneck speed and develops its own compute stack, which is designed to be more efficient and offer those savings.
AWS has developed beyond cloud computing and storage. If Arm-based processors become the standard in the data center, the industry can be praised by the gravitational pull of AWS, which introduced the Graviton processor of the second generation and based on it.
Microsoft Azure, along with Microsoft’s software-as-a-service initiative and business footprint, is making AWS a powerful No. 2 company. As businesses select the preferred cloud vendors, Microsoft will be an option.
The cheap and simple storyline is that Microsoft Azure and AWS are on the collision path to become the top cloud service provider. The truth is that the two rivals scarcely rhyme.
Google Cloud Platform
The Google Cloud Platform and its Anthos platform are aiming to tap into digital transformation budgets. In the meantime, the cloud storage providers are looking to broaden its main verticals, such as retail and financial services.
The Google Cloud Platform is coming off a year in which it has developed its strategy, sales force, and service differentiation, but has also had performance hiccups. Google Cloud is getting a boost through COVID-19 and Google Meet, though, and is setting up a plan for handling multi-cloud workloads.
Alibaba has expanded steadily with a multitude of business partners. What remains to be seen is whether Alibaba will extend beyond China. In any case, there’s a lot of runways ahead of Alibaba. If your company operates in China and is looking to go to the cloud, Alibaba is likely to be a key choice.
Alibaba’s annual Cloud Sales Operating Rate is $7 billion from the most recent quarter. Maybe the most significant revelation was that 59% of the companies listed in China are customers of Alibaba Cloud.
With a $34 billion bet on the acquisition of Red Hat, IBM is hoping to improve its revenue growth. IBM presented the reasoning for the $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat and its turbocharging plan for the future.
Dell Technologies uses VMware, a portfolio business, to connect its product lineup and to form a multi-cloud connection. VMware has an incumbent role, a crucial relationship with AWS, and a parent company with Dell Technology that uses the cloud management software to power its platform. VMware has a knack to change as the cloud environment changes.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
HPE is aiming to be a hybrid and multi-cloud player, but its secret sauce can be applied to the edge of Aruba.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s hybrid cloud approach revolves around its hardware stack—servers, Aruba edge computing systems, storage and networking equipment—and its various software frameworks, such as Greenlake, SimpliVity, and Synergy.
Where HPE’s strategy to hybrid deployments is distinguished, its Aruba unit offers edge computing platforms. HPE plans to expand the cloud infrastructure to the edge of networks. The cloud-to-edge approach could pay off in the future, but edge computing is still a developing market. In the meantime, HPE has been tapping into Azure for management talent.
Cisco is using a network-centric approach to multi-cloud and hybrid deployments.
Cisco Systems has a wide variety of multi-cloud products and software, but the headliner is ACI, short for the architecture called Application Centric Infrastructure. Cisco also melds AppDynamics, server management, and DevOps.
The goal of Salesforce is to be the core of your customer data universe.
Salesforce’s goals are very evident. The company wants to allow its customers to use its data to provide a personal experience, to sell its cloud portfolio to you, and to place its Salesforce Customer 360 initiative at the core of the technology world.
Workday has become a leading enterprise cloud player through human capital management tools but is expanding its footprint with financial applications.
Workday has more than 3,000 clients, and the provider of human resource management software is gradually adding customers to financial management. As a result, Workday is among the cloud vendors earning a wallet share, according to the Flexera report.
These are the top 10 cloud service providers that would be most sought after during 2021.