By Pragati Verma, Contributing Editor, Straight Talk

Public cloud computing — an IT model where third-party providers offer on-demand computing services and infrastructure using the public Internet — isn’t brand new. But it’s gaining traction, according to Gartner that expects the public cloud industry to grow massively and account for more than 45 percent of all enterprise IT spending by 2026, up from less than 17 percent in 2021.

Gartner has revealed four key trends that are set to shape the future of public cloud computing in its new report Top Four Trends Are Shaping the Future of Public Cloud:

  1. Cloud Ubiquity

Most emerging technology trends rely on the cloud’s ubiquity, and it has proven itself during times of uncertainty with its resiliency, scalability, flexibility, and speed. And Gartner expects hybrid, multicloud, and edge environments to grow and set the stage for new distributed cloud models. In addition, new wireless communications advances will push cloud adoption to a new level of broader, deeper, and ubiquitous usage. It also expects new use cases, such as enhanced mobile banking experiences and healthcare transformation. As a result, Gartner forecasts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $396 billion in 2021 and grow 21.7 percent to reach $482 billion in 2022.

  1. Regional Cloud Ecosystems

As the cloud becomes ubiquitous, cloud providers are realizing that they need to implement the right regulations for each region they plan to serve. According to Gartner, growing geopolitical regulatory fragmentation, protectionism, and industry compliance are driving the creation of new regional and vertical cloud ecosystems and data services. And companies in the financial and public sectors are looking to reduce critical lock-in and single points of failure with their cloud providers outside of their country. Gartner believes that concerns among politicians, academia, and tech providers in these regions are leading to initiatives to create a unified ecosystem of cloud and data services protected by regional data laws, such as GAIA-X in European countries.

  1. Sustainability and “Carbon-Intelligent” Cloud

Nearly half of CEOs (45 percent) expect climate change mitigation to have a significant impact on their businesses, according to a recent survey of CEOs and senior executives by Gartner. And Cloud’s share model could help companies get carbon neutral. It notes that cloud providers are responding to this growing focus on sustainability by instituting more aggressive carbon-neutral corporate goals, which creates new challenges for infrastructure and operations leaders. “New sustainability requirements will be mandated over the next few years and the choice of cloud services providers may hinge on the provider’s ‘green’ initiatives,” says Henrique Cecci, senior research director at Gartner in the report.

  1. CIPS Providers’ Automated Programmable Infrastructure

Gartner expects Cloud infrastructure and platform service providers and their highly automated, fully managed, and artificial intelligence-enabled cloud services to scale and find wide adoption. This, the research firm adds, will rapidly eliminate the operational burden of traditional infrastructure and operations roles in the public cloud. “Infrastructure is becoming programmable, and its operation is subsequently becoming automated,” said Cecci. “Modern IT infrastructure, whether deployed in the data center or consumed in the public cloud, requires less manual intervention and routine administration than its legacy equivalents.”

Pragati Verma is a writer and editor exploring new and emerging technologies. She has been a business journalist and managed technology sections at India’s The Economic Times and The Financial Express.