These days cloud transformation is at the top of most CIOs’ to-do list, and brands such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are becoming household names. The last decade brought us cloud advances at a dizzying pace, and as we move into 2020 and beyond, that momentum is showing no signs of slowing down. So what can we expect to see in cloud transformation in 2020?
Multi-cloud Evolves to Omni-Cloud
In recent years businesses have benefitted from a vendor-agnostic approach to cloud services, and many have chosen to stretch their workload across multiple Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. According to a 2018 Gartner survey, 81% of organizations using public cloud are using more than one.
The rise in open-source cloud programs has resulted in data and workloads that are less siloed and easily portable. There are many reasons for this approach, not the least significant of which are risk-mitigation, the ability to mix delivery mechanisms, and autonomy and flexibility. However, migrating workloads between different cloud infrastructures in real-time can lead to bottlenecks in the implementation and delivery pipeline. 2020 will see a rise in vendors forming cross-platform alliances in order to provide a faster and more seamless, Omni-cloud experience.
Cloud Repatriation to Private and Hybrid Models
Recent years have witnessed a large number of businesses repatriating to the public cloud. According to IDC, 49% of public cloud-based applications will repatriate to private by 2021. Public cloud is particularly enticing for start-ups and small organizations that want to take advantage of the pay-as-you-go pricing and low to no infrastructure or capital costs. However, as businesses evolve and their cloud needs become more nuanced, the benefits of a private cloud or hybrid cloud solution begin to look more appealing. The need for strong security and the demands of ever-changing regulatory compliance obligations make private or hybrid (with a data center) cloud options better suited to larger organizations, especially if they work across various markets internationally. Private/hybrid cloud might even provide cost savings to those with large enough volumes of cloud computing needs.
2020 will see organizations repatriating from public to private, from private to public, or to a completely hybrid environment based on their individual technology and security needs. The cloud landscape has never been so dynamic and customizable.
Cloud Security is More Important Than Ever
2019 saw a rise in the adoption of cloud, but it also witnessed a large number of data breaches in the public cloud. As we move forward into 2020, it is imperative for cloud vendors and third-party applications to step up their security game. Endpoint security and native security features seem to be taking center stage, as is demonstrated in VM Ware’s acquisition of Carbon Black, Microsoft’s take-over of Blue Talon, and other such major security purchases.
The introduction of massive government contracts into the public cloud market also requires cloud providers to raise and possibly reinvent their security standards. Some environments will need to be totally re-architected to meet the strict data privacy regulations emerging around the globe. Cloud security is also important for buy-in-according to IDC, nearly 2/3 or organizations see security as the biggest challenge for cloud adoption.
Increased Use of Cloud Containers
Containerization allows businesses who use multi-cloud or hybrid cloud infrastructure to port easily between environments and develop software faster with DevOps strategies. The usage of container technologies such as Kubernetes and Docker will increase in 2020, as more and more developers realize the seemingly endless benefits of using them in a cloud environment. From improved security to faster time to market and easier scaling, containers are one of the cloud computing trends that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, 451 Research forecasts a $2.7 billion growth in cloud containerization in 2020.
Artificial Intelligence Improves Cloud Products
In 2020 organizations will continue to infuse all SaaS products with some level of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities. These technologies help organizations manage data, reveal patterns and insights, and optimize workflows.
As Deloitte points out, although a mass amount of technical skill is required to fully take advantage of AI & Machine Learning, the cloud makes it possible for organizations of all sizes to access huge data sets and computing power. The cloud is democratizing access to AI by giving companies the ability to use it now. Best-practices are now being established in order to fully harness the potential of AI/ML into the future.
Looking forward at the next decade, it is clear that there will be many shake-ups and industry-disrupting events in the IT space. But one thing’s for certain: the cloud is here to stay, and the future of cloud technology will be anything but boring.
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