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Clumio 2021 Predictions: The Cloud Smart Era - What We Can Expect in 2021

 vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

The Cloud Smart Era - What We Can Expect in 2021

By Poojan Kumar, CEO and co-founder, Clumio

There's no doubt about it - 2020 brought with it many changes to the way we work. The remote, WFH norm also accelerated enterprises' digital innovation and cloud-related initiatives. Companies have expanded their move to the public cloud to avoid infrastructure complexities while leveraging public cloud innovation, scale, and economics. Now, modern IT has transitioned from "cost center," focused on managing infrastructure, to a true business value driver. In 2021, we have entered the "cloud smart era," and Clumio has seen increased demand for our cloud-first offerings as more companies standardize on the public cloud.

An integral part of the cloud smart era - and an era of dispersed data - is protecting all this enterprise data. We saw this play out during the emergence of COVID-19. The sudden shift to remote work and schooling broadened the attack surface for ransomware - and ransomware attacks increased significantly. Also, company access to physical data centers was restricted or prohibited due to social distancing and company or government policies. This made it difficult for organizations to conduct planned hardware installations or maintenance. Meanwhile, organizations accelerated their digital transformation initiatives in response to the pandemic to make their businesses more nimble, adding further pressure to the situation.

During 2021, it is crucial that enterprises modernize their cloud-first data protection plans and adopt a security-first mindset. Historically, the data center included replication between storage arrays, snapshots, backups, replicated backups, and tape backups for offsite storage. But in the public cloud, data protection solutions are minimal, especially for backup. Current options include a virtualized version of the same legacy backup product you use in your data center today or snapshots you orchestrate in the public cloud. Basically, applying the same on-premises methodologies in the public cloud is costly, complex and risky from a security standpoint.

In addition to companies doubling down on their cloud modernization and data protection efforts, the cloud sector will also see more partnerships and shifts in the competitive landscape this year. These forward-looking trends include:

Partnerships Will be at the Core of Azure and GCP

  • AWS has been the big leader in the cloud realm - and 2021 will see Azure and GCP play "catch up" with additional partnerships. In fact, both will make partnering core to their competitive strategy. We saw Google announce a contract with Box last summer - and we'll see more deals like this next year as partnerships become an integral part of their cloud innovation strategy. When Azure and GCP become more partner-friendly, this will force AWS to seek out more partnerships to remain competitive in 2021. As VCs put more of their focus on cloud-only companies, we'll see all cloud vendors work to strike a balance between building and partnering - specifically when it comes to their API and platform strategy.

Cloud Agnostic + Multiple Public Clouds = The Enterprise New Normal

More and more enterprises around the globe will leverage at least two public clouds in 2021. These companies will also look more closely at independent vendors built on the public cloud. These independent vendors are cloud-agnostic and cover all use cases, meaning enterprises don't need to reinvent the wheel or rely on a specific public cloud solution for their needs. As a result, enterprises can avoid proprietary cloud lock-in, something that could potentially be costly and difficult to extricate themselves from in the long term.

As companies continue to embrace an all-cloud model (and many of us continue to work remotely), the need for a cloud-agnostic SaaS solution will be essential for tomorrow's cloud enterprise.


About the Author

Poojan Kumar 

Poojan Kumar is the CEO and co-founder at Clumio. Poojan has 18 years of experience in cloud computing and storage and is known for seeing an opportunity for change, innovating and capitalizing on it. Poojan founded and built PernixData that was acquired by Nutanix in 2016, he then served as Vice President of Engineering and Products. Earlier in his career, he was Head of Data Products at VMware and founder at Oracle Exadata.

Published Friday, January 29, 2021 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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