UPDATED 10:41 EDT / JANUARY 13 2021


What’s coming next in cloud? Tune into the experts Jan. 21 at theCUBE on Cloud event

It took a global pandemic for the world to realize an inescapable truth about cloud computing: It’s a journey, not a destination.

That journey will be explored in-depth on Jan. 21, when SiliconANGLE Media’s video studio theCUBE will launch theCUBE on Cloud, SiliconANGLE’s first virtual editorial event of 2021. The program will include interviews with a number of prominent guests, bringing together CxOs, practitioners, technologists and analysts to understand the future of cloud, tapping the expertise, knowledge and independent voices from theCUBE community.

During this special event we will hear from top executives from the major cloud platform providers, including Amit Zavery, vice president, general manager and head of platform at Google Cloud; Hillery Hunter, vice president and chief technology officer of IBM Cloud; and John “JG” Chirapurath, vice president of Azure data, artificial intelligence and edge at Microsoft Corp. Additional participants will include Alan Nance, transformational chief information officer and co-founder of CitrusCollab LLLP; Dan Sheehan, former CIO at Beacon Health Options Inc.; Cathy Southwick, CIO at Pure Storage Inc.; and Zhamak Dehghani, director of Next Tech Incubation at ThoughtWorks Inc.

You can register for free here to access the live event. Plus, you can watch theCUBE interviews here.

As the enterprise ecosystem suddenly found itself migrating wholesale to cloud platforms in 2020, it became rapidly apparent that being in the cloud meant embracing a continual process of optimization and choosing the right tools to manage the complex, ever-changing needs of business IT efficiently and securely.

If 2020 was about jumping onto the cloud bandwagon for many firms, 2021 will involve moving through the cloud landscape and exploring the opportunities presented by edge computing, artificial intelligence, multicloud and serverless along the way.

The next wave of cloud computing will be different from the previous decade in shifting from a focus on IT productivity to creating business value. The formula for success will be no mystery: It is cloud plus data plus AI equals turbo boost for the enterprise.

“We believe that the pandemic forced a giant proof-of-concept on the technology world and will serve as an excellent predictor of what will work for a digital business,” said Dave Vellante, co-founder and chief research officer at Wikibon and host of theCUBE, in an analysis posted earlier this month. “Organizations will double down on those successes.”

Major cloud market expansion

The global public cloud infrastructure market experienced major expansion over the past year, a trend that is expected to continue. Gartner has projected 18% growth in spending on the worldwide public cloud for the coming year, rising from $257 billion in 2020 to $304 billion over the next 12 months.

What is worth noting about Gartner’s analysis is that while much of that growth will involve software as a service, which remains the largest market for cloud IT spending, application infrastructure services are projected to expand at a faster rate. The rise of remote work has placed a premium on scalable infrastructure provided by applications in the cloud native world.

The impact of remote work applications extends far beyond the sudden popularity of video conferencing tools, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Workflow automation through tools provided by Smartsheet Inc. and document verifications provided by firms such as DocuSign Inc. will be part of a permanent change in transactional processing.

“Nobody is going to travel and sit in an office just to sign a paper ever again,” Erik Bradley, chief engagement strategist at Enterprise Technology Research, said during a recent interview with SiliconANGLE. “This is a paradigm shift that is not temporary.”

What is also not temporary is a march by enterprise IT to the edge. The focus of Amazon Web Services on edge services during its re:Invent conference in December highlighted that trend.

Edge is expanding the definition of cloud, as noted by AWS Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy, who pointedly characterized the data center as just another edge node. Just in the past month, AWS launched a new version of IoT Greengrass with open-source edge features, released AWS Fleet Manager for managing edge resources, and provided long-term support for an operating system to manage low-power edge devices.

Edge technology will not only drive key moves by the major cloud providers, but will likely influence merger and acquisition activity as the industry moves through the decade.

“The edge will begin to contribute meaningful revenue to enterprise tech companies in the coming year,” Vellante said. “We would expect lots of edge-oriented mergers and acquisitions in 2021 to set up for the future.”

Managing multicloud and complexity

The future of cloud is also heavily tied to a multicloud model. While major cloud providers clung to the hope that customers would choose one vendor for all cloud IT needs, the reality is that customers have voted instead for multiple options.

The linkage of Microsoft’s and Oracle’s clouds in 2019 offered a hint of what was to come. A survey by TechRepublic found that 81% of respondents currently or plan to use services from multiple cloud vendors in 2021. Near the end of December, IBM announced that it had acquired multicloud consulting firm Nordcloud, which deploys 500 consultants certified in the three major public cloud platforms.

“According to our data, the multicloud approach is happening and there is not one clear winner over another,” Bradley noted. “But it is really interesting to see how these cloud players are going to approach this, because multicloud is happening whether they like it or not.”

What has become clear over the first year of a new decade is that managing multiple clouds and workload processing at the edge is a complex assignment. With more workloads in the cloud and an explosion of connected, intelligent devices, the amount of data that needs to be managed has become enormous.

Data lakes, data hubs and a plethora of new tools offered by the cloud providers themselves have added to the growing mountain of complexity in the enterprise. The need to address this by focusing on new, innovative solutions under development by some of the brightest minds in the business will be a central topic of discussion during theCUBE on Cloud event on Jan. 21.

“Complexity just overwhelmed big data infrastructures and data teams, leading to a continuous stream of incremental technical improvements designed to try and keep pace,” Vellante explained. “We believe what’s needed is a complete big flip in how we approach analytics.”

Livestream of theCUBE on Cloud event

TheCUBE on Cloud event is a livestream event, with interviews to be broadcasted on theCUBE. You can register for free here to access the live event. Plus, you can watch theCUBE interviews here.

How to watch theCUBE interviews

We offer you various ways to watch the live coverage of theCUBE on Cloud event, including theCUBE’s dedicated website and YouTube channel. You can also get all the coverage from this year’s events on SiliconANGLE.

TheCUBE Insights podcast

SiliconANGLE also has podcasts available of archived interview sessions, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, which you can enjoy while on the go.

Guests who will be interviewed on theCUBE during theCUBE on Cloud event

Guests who will be interviewed on theCUBE during theCUBE on Cloud event include Amit Zavery, vice president, general manager and head of platform at Google Cloud; Hillery Hunter, vice president and chief technology officer of IBM Cloud; John “JG” Chirapurath, vice president of Azure data, artificial intelligence and edge at Microsoft; Mai-Lan Tomsen Bukovec, vice president of storage at Amazon Web Services; and Daniel Dines, founder and chief executive officer of UiPath Inc.

Also appearing on theCUBE are Cathy Southwick, chief information officer of Pure Storage; Alan Nance, co-founder and managing partner of CitrusCollab; Zhamak Dehghani, director of Next Tech Incubation NA at ThoughtWorks; Dan Sheehan, chief information officer and chief technology officer; Ana Pinczuk, chief development officer at Anaplan; Dave Humphrey, managing capital at Bain Capital; Muddu Sudhakar, technologist, executive, serial entrepreneur, and investor; Pradeep Sindhu, founder and chief executive officer of Fungible; and Rachel Stephens, industry analyst at RedMonk.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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