Reflections On 2020: Cloud Predictions Versus Reality
This week, we published scores for our 2020 cloud predictions. This is an exercise we do every year to hold us — the prediction-makers — accountable to our predictions. We assess if our predictions came to pass and explicitly call out if we were vague, too aggressive, or just simply wrong. Although we pride ourselves on our harsh grading — usually we fare OK — with generally a “B” rating. But like most that placed bets at the beginning of 2020, we were off the mark this past year. COVID-19 brought a “new normal” and disrupted our lives in every way possible. Cloud was no exception. While we saw some priorities shift to lower on the list, many cloud initiatives accelerated — and, at times, not in the way we predicted.
We didn’t score abysmally, but we also won’t be bringing home a happy report card. Our report grades each prediction, with an explanation on each. All in all, we graded ourselves a “C+” for the year. Here’s a couple of callouts from our findings:
- Cloud went back into hypergrowth. Cloud vendors reported high year-over-year growth, with customers leaning heavily on cloud to help adapt to the new reality. Cloud allowed companies to do so using a ready-to-use platform with the ability to quickly scale. As such, cloud strategies accelerated, which was reflected in the growth rates reported throughout the year.
- SaaS vendors looked to hyperscalers and Kubernetes. We called out the move away from proprietary platforms to hyperscalers both for ease of operations and customer demands for proximity to other workloads. Much of the movement to hyperscaler options was prompted by international sales options. In March, Zendesk announced expansion of its cloud-based customer relationship management platform, Sunshine, which is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Salesforce launched its India region on AWS in September 2020. And even more interesting is the increase of independent software vendor app containerization, providing simplified operation support for delivering software wherever a customer may want it.
These are just a few of the highlights in our 2020 cloud predictions review. For a deeper dive, see the full report.