What’s the cloud forecast for 2020?

Tech Agnosticism

In 2019, we saw how cloud computing transformed the way data is managed, the way applications are developed and deployed, and also the way IT teams operate. Organizations are starting to experience the plethora of benefits that come with going the cloud way while also scouting solutions to manage security, governance, and other concerns that come with adopting this modernized technology. The bottom line is that the cloud is becoming the new normal, and 2020 has a great deal to offer organizations in terms of making the cloud more flexible, accessible, and secure.

1. Cloud agnosticism will be the driving force of the future.

With organizations investing in multiple cloud platforms, cloud agnosticism will be the best bet approach for the future. Regardless of the provider and the type of cloud, the capability to switch tracks with minimal disruptions will be lauded this year. Technologies like containers and managed data services will facilitate this approach by increasing the ease and speed of portability between multiple cloud environments. With effective technologies backing such a transition, to draw the best benefits from the various Service Providers, and avoid vendor lock-in, more and more organizations are expected to take the path to cloud agnosticism in 2020. 

2. Cost transparency in a multi-cloud environment will be much talked about.

Add a workload to a cloud environment and expect to rake up a million or more dollar bill if not carefully planned and monitored. While a multi-cloud environment can provide a cost advantage, organizations must gain a superior level of visibility to optimize utilization and divert the rest of the funds for further innovation. For CIOs and CFOs, this will be a key priority this year as first-movers will likely have the competitive advantage of funding innovation at a faster pace. 

3. Containers will script success stories.

The prime reason for the popularity of container technology is that it has facilitated the multi-cloud approach. It has made possible the movement of workloads between multiple clouds enabling organizations to avoid vendor lock-ins and adopt service providers based on a best-fit-for-a-purpose approach. The ease and agility of deployment that containers provide have made it a natural go-to choice among developers. In fact, Forrester predicts that the adoption of containerized applications will increase by 80% in the next two years. 

4. Security will be more important than ever before.

With hybrid cloud environments picking pace, data is being stored across multiple locations, drastically increasing the threat landscape. This means security needs to be relooked at from a new angle in 2020 wherein data, regardless of where it is and in which form, will need to be tracked and protected actively. Organizations will need to fully understand the data flows and focus their security strategy on risk management. Identifying potential risks and working towards mitigating them will be critical as the complexity of cloud-based approaches increase. 

5. The focus of the multi-cloud strategy will dramatically shift to interoperability.

In 2019, organizations were still busy making sense of its multi-cloud approach, which happened almost by chance at most organizations. Now that a lot more clarity has been achieved, in 2020, organizations will demand an easier flow of data and operations across multiple cloud environments. The likes of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have already anticipated this demand and are releasing solutions to cater to the need for interoperability and portability between different cloud environments, a trend that is expected to see a lot more developments this year.

6. Data will continue to be in the limelight.

Easy yet secure access to data is a crucial consideration for all organizations. IT teams will have to strategically plan out where and how to store the data such that it is conveniently available to users and at the same time, is secure and confidential. Compliance and cost of data movements are also aspects that will need to be closely monitored and arranged for, for improved efficiency.

7. What’s the exit strategy?

Organizations need to be prepared for the inevitable. Having a Plan B in case a service provider goes out of business, increases the price beyond reasonable rates or gets acquired, is critical to avoid business disruptions. This can be very tricky, but considering the cost, effort, and risk involved in moving data to another environment, a foundational level of preparedness for such an occurrence can save organizations from an unforeseen disaster.

8. Pitfalls will need to make a rapid exit.

The trial and error period of the cloud is over now. Organizations need to actively watch out for potential pitfalls and avoid making the same old mistakes. Cost tops this list of potential pitfalls. While cloud projects cost savings, unless clearly mapped out and defined, hybrid multi-cloud can burn big holes in the pocket. Secondly, not all applications need to move to the cloud. Understanding which ones are fit for cloud deployment is a crucial decision that businesses need to make.

Finally, the cloud is taking over computing, and every business has invested in at least one cloud platform. While the benefits of cloud platforms are many, a one-size-fits-all approach is never the right answer. Organizations will have to understand how cloud computing can benefit them and identify a cloud strategy that suits their specific needs, size, goals, and business strategies for success.

By Anita Raj

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