Despite containing one of the most notorious investing buzzwords of recent years, the long-term benefits of “cloud” computing more than live up to the hype.
The era of COVID-19 has seen an acceleration in the need for consumers and businesses to gain access to the latest developments in cloud computing. With more and more economic activity moving online, these three companies are providing the tools and infrastructure to keep the global digital economy running smoothly.
The increased reliance on digital technology during 2020 proved highly beneficial to Twilio (NYSE: TWLO) which saw its stock more than triple throughout the year. The cloud communications platform regularly exceeded its growth targets thanks to the popularity of its platform, which unites business communication methods such as messaging, videos, and chatbot functions, in a simplified, customer-friendly way.
Even before the pandemic, Twilio enjoyed an ever-growing customer base that included some of the hottest businesses around. The company’s platform powers large parts of the customer verification and communication process for Airbnb and Lyft, and even bolsters Netflix’s sophisticated messaging ecosystem. The post-COVID boost in the need for digital communication alternatives no doubt contributed to the dramatic rise in Twilio’s share price last year, which might suggest that short-term gains of this kind are unlikely to be repeated. However, the company’s stable of happy, high-value business customers, and the evident love on the part of developers for its technology and interface, make it an attractive long-term investment.
In the information age, customer data has become a crucial asset for just about every business across all sectors. As a result, customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, occupy an increasingly central role in the workings of a modern company.
On top of its impressive CRM technology, Salesforce oversees a wide range of innovative technologies across the enterprise software industry thanks to a smart acquisition strategy. Back in 2019, the company completed its acquisition of Tableau Software, bringing one of the world’s leading analytics platforms under its umbrella. More recently, the acquisition of popular communications service Slack has bolstered the company’s reputation as a formidable and highly diversified leader in the world of workplace technology, and one with a lot of staying power.
Founded in 2009 by Matthew Prince, Cloudflare (NYSE: NET) is a web infrastructure company with hundreds of data centers located across the globe. As a provider of fast Web content delivery through its international network, Cloudflare boasts of handling between 5% and 10% of all Internet traffic, making it an undisputed giant in the content delivery space. The company also claims to power Internet requests for a full 17% of the Fortune 1000.
As with Twilio, Cloudflare has gained an excellent reputation among web developers, who are attracted to its platform thanks to its relative simplicity and, crucially, its built-in zero-trust security architecture. Investors, too, will find the company’s approach to managing scale highly appealing. As the company grows its user base and addressable market, it is becoming more innovative, not less. Cloudflare makes great use of its large number of free users to implement beta tests on an enormous scale, thereby allowing it to refine its existing network while expanding into new territories. Cloudflare is behaving with the ambition and tact of a company at the very beginning of its journey: a highly desirable quality in any business, but especially in a high-growth technology powerhouse.
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