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Why Cloud Fuels Net-New Digital Business Growth

CEOs and Line of Business (LoB) leaders seek the fastest path to meaningful digital transformation advancement. Meanwhile, investment trends in cloud computing infrastructure continue to expand the capabilities, accelerating growth across all segments within the public cloud services market.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner, the four key trends are cloud ubiquity, regional cloud ecosystems, sustainability or carbon-intelligent cloud, and automated programmable cloud infrastructure.

"The economic, organizational and societal impact of the pandemic will continue to serve as a catalyst for digital innovation and adoption of cloud services," said Henrique Cecci, senior research director at Gartner. "This is especially true for use cases such as collaboration, remote work, and new digital services to support a hybrid workforce."

Global Cloud Computing Market Development

Hybrid, multi-cloud and edge computing environments are growing and setting the stage for new distributed cloud models. In addition, new wireless communications advances, such as 5G R16 and R17, will push cloud adoption to a new level of ubiquitous usage.

Use cases such as enhanced mobile banking experiences and healthcare transformation will also emerge. As a result of these trends, global cloud service adoption will continue to expand rapidly.

Gartner forecasts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $396 billion in 2021 and grow 21.7 percent to reach $482 billion in 2022. Additionally, by 2026, Gartner predicts public cloud spending will exceed 45 percent of all enterprise IT spending -- that's up from less than 17 percent in 2021.

Growing geopolitical regulatory fragmentation, protectionism, and industry compliance are also driving the creation of new regional and vertical cloud ecosystems and data services. Companies are looking to reduce vendor lock-in and single points of failure with their cloud providers outside of their country.

Regions not able to create or sustain their own platform ecosystems will leverage the platforms created in other regions and resort to legislation and regulation to maintain some level of control and sovereignty.

Nearly half of Gartner survey respondents believe climate change mitigation will have a significant impact on their business. Cloud providers are responding to this growing focus on sustainability by instituting more aggressive carbon-neutral corporate goals.

"New sustainability requirements will be mandated over the next few years and the choice of cloud services providers may hinge on the provider’s 'green' initiatives," said Cecci.

Outlook for Cloud Service Applications Growth

Gartner analysts expect the broad adoption of fully managed and artificial intelligence or machine learning-enabled services from the hyperscale public cloud providers. This will rapidly eliminate the operational burden of traditional IT roles in the public cloud environment.

"Infrastructure is becoming programmable, and its operation is subsequently becoming automated,"  Cecci concluded. "Modern IT infrastructure, whether deployed in the data center or consumed in the public cloud, requires less manual intervention and routine administration than its legacy equivalents."

That said, I believe we're at an inflection point for CIOs and CTOs to focus on precisely targeted IT infrastructure investment. The more progressive enterprise C-suite and board members are demanding greater agility from cloud applications deployment to help drive net-new digital business growth.

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