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Keith Weiss, managing director, Morgan Stanley, speaks at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

We already know cloud computing is going to be a huge business; that’s why we devoted a full day to it last week at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. But is this movement simply a transfer of the old style of enterprise computing to a new one, or a brand new world?

During the event, Keith Weiss of Morgan Stanley laid out a few scenarios for the next phase of cloud computing growth across all major aspects of this world, including software-as-a-service companies like Workday, platform-as-a-service companies like Pivotal, and infrastructure-as-a-service companies like Amazon Web Services. By 2021, Morgan Stanley expects that 44 percent of all application workloads across these categories will run in cloud services, creating immense opportunity for companies selling cloud services, he said.

Cloud services give companies a degree of flexibility that they didn’t have in the past with on-premises software updated every few years. “(The cloud) enables you to get a lot of adjunct functionality around it without breaking your ability to move forward with the innovation,” he said, and that’s especially true for SaaS companies that also provide platform development services.

The real question is whether the ease and flexibility of cloud services will encourage a boom in application development, as opposed to companies simply moving their existing applications to the cloud and calling it a day. In order words, assuming that 44 percent of workloads referenced above do move to the cloud, will cloud services actually encourage the development of more workloads?

Weiss argued for the latter. According to Morgan Stanley surveys, “75 percent of CIOs say the pace of workload growth is accelerating, and 85 percent say it will over the next three years,” he said. That points toward even greater opportunity in the cloud than even optimistic observers from a few years back could have predicted.

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