This year’s Cloud 100 celebrates the coolest cloud computing players—20 in each category—providing cloud infrastructure, monitoring and management, security, software and storage.
Cloud Computing Companies-Cloud computing took a star turn this past year for its major supporting role in keeping the economy running during the coronavirus pandemic, as it facilitated the day-to-day workflows of businesses and propped up organizations from retailers and supermarkets to medical and educational institutions.
If organizations had been hesitant about shifting their IT infrastructure from on- premises to the cloud, the pandemic was a kick-starter to adopt at least hybrid environments. An already thriving cloud industry benefited from tailwinds as on-the-fence organizations were forced to accelerate plans for moving and modernizing workloads to keep their operations running as the world turned to remote work and learning, more online buying and telehealth.
Top cloud providers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud saw hefty double-digit cloud revenue increases in 2020, a year that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said spelled the “dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry.” And the three contributed to a new quarterly record for hyperscale operators’ capital expenditures, with much of it targeted at data centers, according to Synergy Research Group.
Cloud-based communication and collaboration tools have helped keep remote workers and their bosses connected, and cloud-based contact centers helped companies stay close to their customers across industries, including restaurants, retail, transportation, healthcare and state unemployment systems.
Cloud customers are embracing its cost-savings, speed and scalability, their access to provider technologies such as data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and their ability to incorporate third-party, cloud-native SaaS solutions. And cloud providers, independent software vendors and consulting partners increasingly are trying to address their enterprise business needs with industry-specific vertical software solutions.
Customers are trending toward hybrid and multi-cloud environments to meet their IT infrastructure requirements, including latency needs, and industry and regulatory standards. CRN’s cloud infrastructure picks range from the “big three” and legacy tech companies making cloud plays to niche and private cloud players and vendors with container and serverless offerings.
Three of the Cloud 100 monitoring and management companies—Flexera, Scalr and Snow Software—were leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Management Platforms. In storage, companies ranging from Acronis to Zerto are taking the lead in what IDC forecast to be the fastest growing IT infrastructure segment for cloud environments.
Security providers making the Cloud 100 are helping cloud adopters address the challenges of management, segmentation, compliance and governance against the backdrop of an increase in security breaches and cyberattacks. SaaS is the largest segment of the public cloud services market, and the 20 companies highlighted by CRN are standouts as the industry shifts from on-premises licensed software to the new subscription-based models.