By 2020 it’s projected by Gartner that corporate no-cloud policies will be as scarce as no-internet policies are today. Not surprising considering how valuable the cloud and cloud tools already are to many businesses across a range of industries. But although we’re seeing mainstream uptake of popular cloud products and services, cloud developers aren’t resting on their laurels; instead, we’re noting the development of existing and new cloud devices that are likely to keep the cloud top of mind and increasingly appreciated in the years to come.
Trends and Beyond
Forrester Research has released a new report outlining cloud predictions and highlighting ten trends for the coming year they believe necessary to act on. It’s expected that the cloud will be saving users money in many ways, not just through their traditional pay-per-use models, but also through the advancement of best practices optimizing costs. Expense transparency may also be realized through integrated cost management tools. And though Forrester says ‘size still matters,’ it’s clear that mega cloud providers will be balanced with niche providers. The public cloud option with its scalability and good economics continues to be a popular choice for enterprises averse to setting up their own private cloud networks, but the customization available through niche cloud provider services promises the smaller dedicated providers will also have a slice of the pie.
Furthermore, Forrester suggests that ‘hyper-converged infrastructure will help private clouds get real.’ These systems create integration of contrasting services on private cloud networks, and Forrester believes hyper-converged infrastructures should be the foundation for the development of private cloud networks, ensuring effortless and effective implementations. It’s also likely that containers will ‘shake up’ cloud platform and management strategies as Forrester predicts container-driven software code management will advance with Linux containers likely available in the majority of private and public cloud platforms. This, however, increases security challenges and is just one motive for the belief that cloud service providers will begin developing better security protocols into their offerings.
And further encouraging the cloud shift, Forrester believes that migration is going to become easier thanks to ‘lift-and-shift’ tools. Cloud migration applications are expected to be highly relevant, enabling smooth implementation and making the switch from public to private cloud, or vice versa, straightforward. Forrester does also expect enterprises to avoid large, complex and expensive cloud software suites, but also concludes that hybrid cloud networking will continue to create challenges for the hybrid cloud. We might also see SaaS moving towards regional and industry solutions instead of the prevalent one-stop-shops of today. Finally, Forrester suggests we keep an eye on what’s coming out of China as it’s expected that ‘Chinese firms will be key drivers of global cloud evolution.’
What the Cloud has in Store for Enterprises
Taking a look at enterprise advances, it’s suggested that the cloud market will accelerate more rapidly as businesses attempt to improve efficiencies while scaling computing resources for better customer service. Says Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti, “The number one trend is here come the enterprises. Enterprises with big budgets, data centers, and complex applications are now looking at cloud as a viable place to run core business applications.” Forrester recognizes Amazon Web Services as the originators of the first wave of cloud computing, launching basic storage and computing services back in 2006; ten years on and the results are mind-boggling. With 38% of surveyed North American and European enterprise infrastructure technology directors building private clouds and a further 32% securing public cloud services it’s evident that businesses are well into their cloud journey and nudging providers toward greater developments and innovations for the future.
By Jennifer Klostermann