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The great cloud computing surge

Driven in part by the pandemic, cloud computing adoption has reached new heights. These five articles take a close look at the implications.

We reached a big milestone in 2020: Cloud services revenue finally surpassed enterprise spending on data centers, according to the Synergy Research Group. One of the longest-running trends in IT – moving to the cloud – has been turbocharged, driven in part by a pandemic that pushed enterprises to avoid the logistical challenges and capital expense of deploying on prem.

But the endless capacity to add horsepower without provisioning your own infrastructure isn’t the biggest draw. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have become launchpads for the latest technology innovations, which developers can jump on to build innovative new applications. Machine learning libraries? Globally distributed databases? IoT platforms with all the bells and whistles? The big three clouds have ‘em all – ready, waiting, and API-accessible. It’s enough to make you wonder why you’d bother to build and maintain your own datacenter.

That’s exactly what Brunswick, a recreational boating company, wondered. In "Cloud or bust: IT leaders go all in on cloud computing," CIO contributor Mary Pratt reveals that it took Brunswick a decade to get there, but the company’s IT estate is now 90% in the cloud, using a combination of IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS offerings that has enabled the decommissioning of two data centers. According to Pratt, Bain & Company, DeVry University, and the University of California, San Diego, are all at similarly advanced phases in their cloud journeys. As UC San Diego CIO Vince Kellen says, “cloud is a necessary and eventual transition that just about every organization is going to make.”

By Eric Knorr Editor in Chief, InfoWorld

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