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March 4, 2020updated 13 Jul 2020 2:15pm

Technology, media, and telecom (TMT) trends: Cloud computing

By GlobalData Thematic Research


Direct competition between US and Chinese cloud computing service providers will increase. China will begin to reap the rewards of its investment in 5G. More businesses will turn to hybrid cloud to achieve digital transformation. Meanwhile, there will be greater scrutiny of carbon emissions resulting from cloud computing.

Listed below are the leading TMT trends in cloud computing, as identified by GlobalData.

The cloud services market is growing rapidly

The cloud services market, comprising infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS), is forecast to be worth $332.8bn in 2020, up 22% on the previous year. According to GlobalData, SaaS will make up 57% of cloud services revenue, while IaaS will be the fastest-growing service line, increasing by 26% to $90.9bn in 2020.

Cloud giants’ domination will continue

The cloud services sector is dominated by five large companies: Amazon (AWS), Microsoft, Alibaba, Google, and IBM. The status quo will not be disturbed in 2020.The hyperscalers will continue to grow rapidly and expand their geographical footprint.

More hybrid cloud options will be released

In 2020, GlobalData expects more companies to adopt hybrid cloud as part of a broader digital transformation strategy. Competition in the hybrid cloud market will increase, with the arrival of Nutanix Clusters on AWS and a new joint offering from VMware and Google. There will also be a greater focus on solutions that support application portability across multiple clouds. For example, IBM’s Red Hat OpenShift containerisation software will compete with VMware Tanzu, among others.

Kubernetes will be key to cloud enablement

Open-source container orchestration systems Kubernetes has become the main driver in digital transformation projects that involve app modernisation. Consequently, a growing number of tech providers have entered the app modernisation market. This trend will continue in 2020. Kubernetes will retain its leadership position in app modernisation directives, and containerisation will spur new partnerships and acquisitions among players at opposite ends of the cloud stack.

Cloud’s green credentials increasingly scrutinised

Cloud computing has been lauded in the past for its positive impact on environmental sustainability, but studies by US researchers have suggested that information and communications technology (ICT) could be responsible for up to 3.5% of global emissions by 2020, more than aviation and shipping, and 14% by 2040. There will be greater scrutiny of the green credentials of cloud computing in 2020.

This is an edited extract from the TMT Predictions 2020 – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.