This report, which is part of a series of Whom Owns Whom reports, on disruptive industries, focuses on cloud computing. It includes information and descriptions of the industry and its subsectors, types of clouds and cloud service models, global cloud statistics, trends and the industry’s major players including Microsoft, Adobe, Intuit, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud, among others.
The trend of digitisation and cloud computing was already growing before the pandemic, but was accelerated by companies being forced to adopt remote working practices at short notice At the forefront of remote or hybrid work is cloud computing – the ability to access, via the internet, applications, servers, data storage, development tools and networking capabilities on demand. The cloud computing industry is lucrative, with subscription-based revenues and a highly cash-generative business model.
High Growth Rates
The global growth of cloud services is expected to exceed 20% per annum for the foreseeable future, and spending on cloud infrastructure is growing faster than spending on traditional IT infrastructure. There are numerous tailwinds, from remote working to increased broadband access in emerging markets. Customers are “sticky” as the costs and disruptions of moving service providers often outweigh the benefits, and this is reflected in the lofty valuations of cloud computing businesses.
Edge computing is a distributed IT architecture which moves a portion of storage and computing resources out of central data centres closer to the source of the data itself. It minimises the risk of bandwidth limitations, latency issues and unpredictable network disruptions that are common challenges with using cloud computing. Partnerships across cloud and communications service providers will be more common, with partnerships between wireless carriers and the major public cloud providers already forming. With pattern recognition and predictive analysis, AI is enabling Software-as-a-Service companies to meet the levels of personalisation that consumers expect.