The cloud is arguably the most impactful technology ever to hit the corporate world. It allows companies to move their operations online and digitize clunky processes to drive efficiency and ultimately make more money. Additionally, the cloud can connect workforces no matter where employees are physically located. 

It should come as no surprise that estimates on the industry's value are quickly surpassing the trillion-dollar mark. According to Grand View Research, the cloud opportunity will be worth $483 billion this year, but will soar to $1.5 trillion per year by 2030. Precedence Research is betting it will be even bigger, topping $1.6 trillion in the same timeframe.

That leaves one question: What's the best way for investors to capture a slice of this opportunity? Here are two high-quality growth stocks that offer direct exposure to the cloud. 

1. Microsoft

Cloud computing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Microsoft (MSFT 0.22%). The company is famous for its software products like the Windows operating system and the Office 365 document suite -- the latter of which can now be used in the cloud, allowing multiple users to collaborate in real time.

But the fact is, the largest of Microsoft's three business units is intelligent cloud, which made up 38% of the company's $198.3 billion in revenue during fiscal 2022 (ended June 30). The segment is driven by Azure, a cloud services platform that provides hundreds of products and solutions to its business customers, from data storage to advanced artificial intelligence and machine-learning tools.

The intelligent cloud segment grew revenue by 25% year over year in fiscal 2022 to $75.2 billion, but Azure revenue soared by a much faster 45%. It highlights that businesses continue to spend heavily on expanding their digital operations, even in the face of recent difficult economic circumstances.

Setting Azure aside, the number of consumer applications for cloud-based technology continues to grow. For example, users of the Microsoft Xbox gaming console can now access some of their favorite titles online through the new Xbox Cloud Gaming platform. This could grow to become the most popular way to play games because it eliminates the need to constantly download updates or patches, allowing users to simply log on and play.

For investors seeking exposure to the cloud industry, Microsoft might be one of the best ways to get it. It's a diverse $2 trillion company that remains highly profitable with $72.7 billion in net income over the last 12 months, making it a relatively low-risk way to ride the cloud trend over the next decade (and beyond).

2. DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean Holdings (DOCN -3.66%) offers a more direct way for investors to gain exposure to the cloud industry. The company is worth just $4 billion, so it's a tiny fraction of the size of Microsoft, but it focuses on a very specific cloud niche: serving start-ups and small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

DigitalOcean believes this segment of the market will be a $72 billion opportunity this year and could more than double to $145 billion by 2025. That's a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27%, which is much higher than the cloud industry's estimated CAGR of 17% overall. The company estimates this addressable market will contain 43 million developers and 100 million small to mid-sized businesses by that time. 

How does a small company like DigitalOcean compete with multitrillion-dollar cloud providers like Microsoft or Amazon? It focuses on delivering a pricing structure that is affordable for the small enterprises it serves. Plus, it provides thousands of resources to help customers get the most out of their cloud services, alongside an attentive support system. It has also designed a simple dashboard with one-click deployment tools to reduce the burden on businesses to retain expensive dedicated tech staff in house.

The result is a burgeoning customer base of 105,400 businesses that are spending more than $50 per month. In fact, in the recent second quarter of 2022, DigitalOcean's average revenue per user climbed to an all-time high of $71.76, a 23.5% jump compared to the year-ago quarter. 

Overall, DigitalOcean has delivered $492.3 million in revenue over the last 12 months. The company isn't profitable just yet as it's still investing in acquiring customers to expand its reach even further. But right now, investors can buy the stock at a price-to-sales multiple of just 8.2, which is about 75% cheaper than its peak multiple of 34 during late 2021. 

The broader sell-off in the technology sector is offering a great chance to buy this stock at a steep discount, and it could pay off nicely by 2030, when the cloud industry has grown to over $1 trillion in annual value.