Cloud computing is the centerpiece of the world’s technical response to the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, the leading public cloud providers were standout business successes in this most unusual of years. As businesses everywhere managed to keep the lights on by having personnel work from their homes, all of the principal cloud providers substantially grew their revenues and continued to deliver innovations at a blistering pace.

With the novel coronavirus pandemic still hammering the global economy, here are my predictions for the enterprise cloud computing market in 2021.

Cloud computing will be central to the postpandemic new normal

In the sad and fraught year now coming to a close, cloud services were a godsend for keeping the economy and our lives from grinding to a halt.

In 2021 and beyond, everybody will continue to rely thoroughly on clouds (as well as on streaming, remote collaboration, smart sensors, and other cloud-reliant digital technologies) to emerge from a pandemic that is still grinding down on us remorselessly. Enterprise technology professionals will adjust their cloud strategies with one eye on COVID-19 trends and the other on their digital transformation initiatives. The tech vendors who stand to gain the most are those such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft that provide full, cloud-to-edge ecosystems that enable seamless new normal lifestyles.

Public clouds will grow even more dominant

In the past year, public clouds rode the pandemic to faster growth. According to IDC, enterprise cloud spending, both public and private, increased 34.4 percent from a year previous, while non-cloud IT spending declined by eight percent.

In 2021 leading public cloud platforms—especially Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform—will cement their dominance in the cloud market and expand their sway across many sectors of the global economy. AWS will retain its leading market share, though Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba will continue to close the gap. Revenue growth will remain explosive through mid-decade, according to Deloitte’s projections, never dipping below 30 percent annually. Global cloud spending will grow seven times faster than overall IT spending through this period. IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will nearly double, to around $500 billion, by 2023.

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