There is no doubt that cloud computing systems have become more essential than ever before in 2020, and any firms that didn’t already use this technology have had to explore their options and find a way of enabling remote work and collaboration between employees and teams.

Cloud technology is, of course, continually evolving and the changes that have occurred in the way we work in 2020 are driving certain trends within the sector, as Forbes recently noted.

The publication identified the top five trends in cloud computing for 2021, but which ones are most relevant for businesses to be aware of?

At the top of the list is a predicted drive for greater collaboration between the world’s largest cloud services providers, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft. This is because industry is increasingly operating across multi-cloud environments and, as this continues, there will be greater calls for collaboration between the platforms.

However, the publication noted that operating in a multi-cloud environment isn’t only beneficial to organisations that want to take greater advantage of the various services on offer. “It will also benefit organisations needing to share data and access with partners in their supply chain, which may all be working across diverse applications and data standards,” it stated.

Another top trend that businesses need to be aware of, as identified by Forbes, is that of hybrid and on-premise cloud solutions.

These are growing in popularity because they allow a business to select the elements of different service providers’ offerings that suit them and tailor their cloud solution accordingly.

In this instance having support with cloud application integration in London, or wherever you’re based, will be essential to ensure that your systems work smoothly together and that you avoid friction for users.

An article for CIO recently pointed out that hybrid cloud computing is also what provides “the foundation for edge computing”.

Edge computing “takes place at or near the physical location of either the user or the source of the data”, the publication explained. As a result, it typically delivers faster and more reliable services and connections.

This has also been identified as an important element of hybrid cloud strategies, because it is this that enables organisations of all sizes to “achieve a consistent application and operations experience”.

As Red Hat president and CEO Paul Cormier explained to the news provider, edge cloud computing is a combination of other computing footprints including data centers, virtual environments, the public cloud and the private cloud.

The idea is that it combines elements from each of these to deliver the infrastructure your company requires to suit its specific needs and this element of customisation means it can provide for demands that a traditional IT model is unlikely to be able to meet.

Mr Cormier added: “If edge computing is going to be a realistic future for enterprise IT, it needs the hybrid cloud and open source to thrive.”

As Forbes noted, many of the large cloud providers are waking up to the concept of the hybrid cloud and are aware that businesses are increasingly choosing to mix and match services from different providers to create the IT infrastructure that best serves their organisation.