The 20 Coolest Cloud Software Companies Of The 2024 Cloud 100
Here’s a look at 20 innovative software companies, from some of the industry’s most established cloud application vendors to data transformation and analytics startups, that are driving the evolution of cloud software today.
The Coolest Cloud Software Companies
Cloud computing in recent years has been evolving from a way businesses could expand the capacity and functionality of their IT operations to become the core component of those operations. Market researcher Gartner has forecast that 2025 will be the first year that spending for cloud computing exceeds spending for traditional IT.
A couple more Gartner statistics: Spending for cloud applications (Software as a Service) will reach $244 billion this year, up nearly 19 percent from 2023, and by 2028 70 percent of IT workloads will run in cloud environments.
Businesses and organizations are rapidly adopting cloud software of all types including ERP and CRM software, collaboration and communications systems, data management and analytics platforms, and AI and application development tools.
As part of CRN’s 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Companies of 2024, here’s a look at 20 innovative software companies, from startups to some of the industry’s biggest software providers, that are driving the evolution of cloud software today.
Boomi makes it possible to connect “everyone to everything, anywhere” as the company touts the capabilities of its cloud-based integration Platform-as-a-Service that discovers, manages and orchestrates data while connecting applications, processes and people. Boomi AI, launched in May 2023, leverages generative AI to build and complete integrations across business processes and applications.
Cloudflare is a critical component of many organizations’ internet and cloud operations with its content delivery network, cloud cybersecurity, DDOS mitigation and domain registration services. In September 2023 Cloudflare launched Workers AI, a developer platform for building, scaling and deploying full-stack AI applications on the Cloudflare network.
Businesses are increasingly working with live, streaming data. Confluent’s cloud-native data streaming platform, based on the open-source Apache Kafka event streaming technology, makes it possible to connect and process all data in real time. Data Streaming for AI, launched in September, simplifies and accelerates the development of real-time AI applications.
Databricks has been one of the industry’s fastest-growing startups with its Databricks Data Intelligence Platform for data lakehouse projects and other big data tasks. The company boosted the AI capabilities of its tech portfolio in June with the $1.3-billion acquisition of MosaicML. A November $500 million funding round boosted Databricks’ valuation to $43 billion.
Dbt Labs develops a data transformation framework and workflow tool used by data analysts and data engineers to effectively execute SQL data transformation tasks. Dbt is rapidly growing in popularity and has become a must-have tool within many organizations’ big data operations. The company was Snowflake’s 2023 Data Integration Partner of the Year and Databricks’ 2023 Customer Impact Partner of the Year.
Intermedia Cloud Communications
Intermedia is a leading one-stop shop for customers and the channel for unified communications and collaboration solutions including business email, videoconferencing, VoIP, contact center, Microsoft 365 applications and other services. Intermedia Unite AI Assistant, a business productivity tool launched in December, uses generative AI to help workers access information and automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
The M-Files document management system serves as a platform for knowledge workflow automation. With its embedded workflow engine and advanced AI, M-Files software allows users to search for content across disparate data repositories and data types and automate and streamline document-centric processes. M-Files reached the milestone of $100 million in annual recurring revenue in 2023.
MongoDB, a leading provider of next-generation database technology, offers its MongoDB Atlas multi-cloud database platform and data services for building data-intensive cloud applications. MongoDB has gained momentum over the last couple of years by establishing extensive strategic alliances with the major hyperscalers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba.
Startup MotherDuck launched in 2023 with its fully managed MotherDuck cloud analytics service (based on the open-source DuckDB database) that combines cloud and embedded database technology to make it easy to analyze data no matter where it resides. The company landed $52.5 million in Series B funding in September.
Managing cloud spending has become a major challenge as businesses shift IT operations and workloads to cloud platforms. The ProsperOps financial operations system provides automated cost optimization, instant accounting and financial insight for AWS environments. Today ProsperOps manages more than $1.3 billion in AWS spending, so far returning more than $700 million in savings.
From its data analytics roots Qlik has been expanding its data integration, data quality and data management capabilities–most recently through its 2023 acquisitions of Talend and Mozaic Data–to provide a more complete platform that helps it stand out in the crowded big data space. The Qlik Staige portfolio of AI offerings launched in September.
Cloud computing pioneer Salesforce has grown into a cloud application behemoth with annual revenue approaching $35 billion. Much of that growth has been organic but includes multibillion-dollar acquisitions such as Slack, Tableau and MuleSoft. Generative AI, including launching such products as EinsteinGPT, has been a major focus for Salesforce in the last year.
Enterprise application giant SAP continued–and even accelerated–the transition of its product portfolio to the cloud over the last year: Cloud revenue in the company’s third-quarter 2023 reached $3.5 billion and revenue from its flagship S/4HANA Cloud application suite grew 67 percent to over €900 million. Last year also saw the launch of SAP’s Joule generative AI copilot.
ServiceNow is one of the industry’s fastest-growing cloud companies: The digital workflow platform provider passed the $2 billion revenue-per-quarter milestone in 2023 and will likely become a $10 billion (or more) company this year. In September ServiceNow launched Creator to embed generative AI across all Now Platform workflows and Now Assist for specific IT service management, HR and customer service tasks.
Smartsheet’s enterprise work management Software-as-a-Service offering does the job of multiple applications including managing projects and programs, assigning tasks, automating workflows, tracking project progress, maintaining schedules and calendars, sharing documents, and managing resources and digital assets. Smartsheet was recently judged a leader in Gartner’s first Magic Quadrant for Collaborative Work Management.
Snowflake bills itself as the data cloud, offering an ever-growing range of data workload services including data warehouses, data lakes, data analytics, AI/ML, applications, data engineering, data sharing cybersecurity and the storage of transactional and analytical data. In June Snowflake launched generative AI, application development and data monetization initiatives.
ThoughtSpot’s pivot to the cloud paid off by boosting the company to the top tier of data analytics and business intelligence companies. More recently ThoughtSpot has been touting the AI-powered capabilities of its analytics platform and new offerings such as the AI-driven ThoughtSpot Sage search system and Monitor for Mobile.
Businesses use vFunction’s Architectural Observability Platform to accelerate application modernization efforts, manage software development “technical debt” and cut projects costs–all critical to the success of many digital transformation initiatives. The company’s Architectural Observability Manager, introduced in September, is used to continuously manage and remediate architectural technical debt.
WekaIO’s Weka Data Platform, built on distributed file system and object storage technology, is well-positioned for today’s increasingly data-intensive, hybrid cloud workloads in AI, machine learning and high-performance computing. WekaIO, which raised $135 million in November 2022, launched the Weka X Partner Program to recruit VAR, systems integration and MSP partners.
Aneel Bhusri and Carl Eschenbach
Workday has expanded beyond its HR application roots to compete in the broader ERP space with cloud applications for financial management, financial and operational planning, industrial operations and more. In September Workday unveiled a wave of AI tools and capabilities embedded in the Workday platform to help businesses better manage their human and financial assets.