This article is not about what a Hybrid Cloud is. It is about why it is the next “Big Thing”.
Cloud computing took off about 15 years ago, as companies started to outsource their web-hosting, data centres, core computer systems and many applications to a few big providers. Cloud computing was popularized with Amazon releasing its Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006. Now, Amazon remains the major player in the cloud market.
Growth towards the clouds
The cloud market size is at $371.4 Billion in 2020 and expected to grow to $832.1 Billion by 2025 at a growth rate of 17.5% a year [source].
This is already a huge market and a growing one. The pandemic has shown just how critical the cloud has become. The shift towards the cloud will rather accelerate due to digitization, with the economy’s main functions depending on it, a wide range of e-commerce sites and applications that let you work from home.
At the moment, there are three main cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. We can add to this list if we are to include the Chinese market as well.
Amazon remains the biggest player, with Microsoft and Google putting up a fierce fight increasing its market share. Looking at China, Alibaba and Tencent are the companies controlling the market over there. Even though the field is already highly competitive, more companies are coming to the fight, with IBM recently announcing it would spin off part of its services business to focus on the cloud and AI; and Oracle’s bidding for TikTok in an effort to secure an anchor-customer for its new cloud operation.
The fact is that the market remains fragmented and the cloud providers are fiercely fighting for this market.
A case for an “uber” Cloud
Yet individual firms can benefit using more than one cloud provider based on multiple reasons:
- Avoid vendor lock-in
- Exploit price differences across providers
- Use provider-specific features
- On-premise infrastructure as backup and recovery capability
- Compliance with data-localisation requirements