Cloud Computing Trends and Forecasts

Cloud technology is an integral part of most businesses. Some of the more common examples include;

  • reading email,
  • ordering online,
  • syncing mobile devices,
  • posting to social media,
  • participating in a video conference, and more.

The current forecasts have confirmed that the overall cloud computing market will continue to grow significantly both domestically and globally in the foreseeable future. 

Current Trends

An article in Small Business Trends indicates that two-thirds of small businesses believe that technology is a dominant factor in meeting their objectives.  In fact, 72% of the decision makers in the small business marketplace indicate that technology solutions will be of significant value in how they run their business and achieve planned outcomes.

Statistics indicate that for small businesses, cloud computing is one of the fastest growing technologies.  Predictions are that by 2020, 78% of small business will have incorporated cloud computing in their operational processes.

A recent Forbes article cites the following:

  • Cloud computing is projected to increase from $146B in 2017 to $178B in 2018 attaining a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22%.
  • Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft will capture 76% of all cloud platform revenue in 2018 and up to 80% by 2020.
  • There will be a shift of carrier backbones for enterprise traffic away from telecom providers.

Given these trends, it is no surprise that many businesses large and small have either transitioned or plan to transition to cloud computing making it an important part of their everyday operations.

Predictions

Experts believe that the cloud market is in a second wave for public, private, and hybrid cloud services. Some of the current predictions for the future of cloud computing include:

  • Moving from Cloud First to Cloud Only: Cloud 2.0 is on the horizon.  Currently the use of the cloud is mainly for basic computation and storage of data.  However, changes are inevitable, and the cloud is no exception.  The change will come in the form of platform services, serverless applications, and the reliance on cloud services that only run when they are required.
  • Increasing Role of AI: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in the management of the cloud and all its complexities.  Machine learning will take a leading role in managing the applications and infrastructure of the cloud and improving the efficiency associated with the security, performance and availability of the cloud.  There will also be an increase in the utilization of AI to monitor and manage cost and configuration.  These changes will, in turn, help reduce costs, provide better performance and increased security.   
  • Hyperconverging Private Clouds:  Some companies select a private cloud solution which typically requires more time and expense to implement.   Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has emerged as a dominant hardware platform for hosting private clouds.  Its foundational elements include integrated computing, storage, and networking resources that allow a quicker build out of private clouds.
  • Changing Data Governance: The governance of data will be found in the cloud as the roles, technology and processes to support them move towards a more agile approach.  With the constant changes to the cloud, the ability to manage, in a manual fashion, the health of applications and infrastructure has become increasingly difficult.
  • Increasing Use of Cloud Containers:  Containers are a solution used to reliably move software from one computing environment to another such as development, testing, or staging.  As the cloud market has grown, so has use of containers.  Companies are facing new challenges related to security, monitoring, storage and networking issues particularly in production. 
  • Using Lift and Shift Migration Tools: When migrating to the cloud, a company may decide to undergo a full redesign of their systems to accommodate a cloud-native architecture which requires a tremendous resource commitment.  Rehosting is another option that involves moving the existing system ‘as is’ into the cloud with minimal or no changes. Somewhere in the middle is the lift and shift migration which is a pragmatic approach to making some adjustments to the existing system to leverage cloud-native features. 
  • Increasing Use of Enterprise Applications:  Consumerization of enterprise cloud applications suggests that companies are more comfortable with hosting critical software in the public cloud. Research in 2017 has shown that analytics and data storage will lead in the adoptions.  

Expansion of Cloud Services

In 2011, cloud service models were defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and  included Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  The cloud market has swiftly progressed since then and today, Everything or Anything as a Service (XaaS) is the latest offering.  XaaS provides a growing array of solutions that offers businesses tremendous flexibility regardless of company size.  Technavio analysts forecast a CAGR of 38.22% for global growth during the period of 2016 – 2020.

All current trends and forecasts indicate that cloud technology will continue to mature as a ubiquitous presence in both personal and professional settings.  To learn more about the basics and history of the cloud click here.  If you are ready to take a step towards cloud adoption or modification, call Ninestone for information and implementation support.

The Ninestone Team

January 2018