- Payments infrastructure provider Stripe held onto its No. 1 spot on Forbes' Cloud 100 list, an annual ranking of private cloud computing companies, for the second year in a row. Dropbox, No. 2 in 2017, went public in March, opening the way for Slack to move from No. 3 in 2017 to No. 2 this year.
- Twenty-seven companies were new members of the Cloud 100 club, with RPA company UiPath rising the highest to No. 14. Cybersecurity company Tanium, experience management company Qualtrics and website builder Squarespace held onto spots in the top 10 year-over-year, coming in at fourth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in 2018. DocuSign and Adyen, former top 10 finalists, also went public since last year's ranking, while Mailchimp and Medallia fell down a few spots.
- California remained the epicenter in 2018, with the seven of the top 10 companies and 55 of the total 100 situated in its borders. The Bay Area houses 51 of the top 100 companies. New York City, Boston, Utah, North Carolina and Seattle followed.
The breadth of products and services offered by the Cloud 100 companies is a testament to the reliance of the modern economy on cloud-based architectures and platforms. Most companies are using a multicloud or hybrid cloud strategy, putting the onus on vendors and providers to create applications and products that work accross proprietary systems.
While these 100 companies, among many others, found success in cloud computing this year, dangerous waters could be ahead. The tariff battle between the U.S. and China could affect cloud computing by hitting imports critical to cloud infrastructure, imposing costs that could be passed down to purchasers and cause a larger hit on the U.S. economy in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The rankings are compiled based on operating metrics such as funding and revenue, and companies that make the list "are champions of small business and facilitators of the world's most important multi-national corporations," according to Forbes.
While company types were spread throughout the list, a few classes emerged more often, including infrastructure and developer tools providers, sales and support companies, security, data and analytics and collaboration and work. Though fourth by prevalence, data and analytics companies benefited from the most investment dollars — $3.93 billion, according to Forbes.