What are the top trends for cloud in 2017? Let’s look at the most critical ideas from thought-leaders in IT research and journalism.
At the turn of the year, people commonly have a tendency to take stock of the situation. Personally, people write New Year’s resolutions on losing weight, quitting smoking, and other aspects of self-improvement. In business, we think about how our industry and the markets that support it might be changing.
In that spirit, let’s look at cloud computing trends – in brief and more exhaustively.
Short-list of 2017 cloud trends
Containers, lift-and-shift, and SaaS specialization are trends that Forrester considers key to the field for 2017. But the big news is increasing adoption among the largest firms. “The No. 1 trend is here come the enterprises,” explained Forrester’s lead author, Dave Bartoletti. “Enterprises with big budgets, data centers and complex applications are now looking at cloud as a viable place to run core business applications.”
Here are 10 additional trends that the research group announced as the most important for the New Year:
2. There will be increasingly diverse options beyond the megaclouds.
3. Cloud service providers (CSPs) will start to include higher security for a more turnkey product.
4. Buyers will lower their costs with cloud more extensively than through pay-per-use.
5. Lift-and-shift functionality will become more sophisticated, streamlining cloud migration.
6. Networking will continue to be the most vulnerable piece of hybrid cloud.
7. Companies will become less interested in expensive and complicated private cloud platforms.
8. SaaS will become further specialized to better fit different sectors and geographical locations.
9. Chinese companies will emerge as major players in worldwide cloud development.
10. Hyper-convergence will improve the viability of private clouds.
11. The proliferation of container storage will cause disruption in cloud management.
Expansion of short-list + 4 bonus cloud trends
For a better understanding of how the cloud computing industry is getting ready to change in the New Year, let’s take a deep-dive into a few Forrester trends (parallel to the items bolded in the list above). Then we’ll expand those ideas with a few additional projections from Information Age.
Small rises with megacloud (#2 above)
In an effort to save time and money, IT heads who previously elected to create a private cloud will find themselves warming to public environments.
Capital One is one of the big-name players to early-adopt public cloud. “We recognized that we were spending a lot of time, energy, effort and management bandwidth to create infrastructure that already exists out there in a much better state and is evolving at a furious pace,” said Rob Alexander, the bank’s CIO.
The statistics are with Alexander. Anyone familiar with IT growth projections can tell you that public cloud is skyrocketing. An $87 billion market in 2015, it is expected to exceed $146 billion in the New Year. Currently, Forrester clocks the cloud, as an expanding economy, at 22 percent CAGR.
Beyond comparison of cost and focus on support, this speed is simply too rapid to allow the megacloud providers to meet every business’s needs. Smaller and regional IaaS providers will become bigger business in 2017, said Bartoletti – who recommends being open-minded and embracing the implementation of multi-cloud.
Better control of cloud expenses (#4 above)
Cloud can be a more affordable choice, but there are unforeseen expenses. Specifically, management can be tricky with a complex multi-cloud. Also, many companies keep public cloud running on Saturdays and Sundays, when they aren’t being used.
During the New Year, CIOs will improve in their ability to keep cloud costs down. Bartoletti noted, “There’s no reason in 2017 for your cloud costs to grow out of control.” He gave the example of a software firm that cut its cloud cost by 12% (reduced from $2.5M to $2.2M) simply through monitoring use.
Lift-and-shift cloudification (#5 above)
Companies will find value with lift-and-shift tools, using them to prepare apps for migration – rather than placing legacy apps in the cloud or manually rewriting the code.
You put your code in there (#11 above)
Containers allow you to manage code, especially in the case of cloud apps. Linux containers are becoming more commonplace. Containers require a thorough review and reshaping of security, networking, storage, and monitoring. Bartoletti said businesses will look at positives and negatives of setting up their own private PaaS in contrast to using a managed public cloud platform.
Enterprises embrace cloud (#1 above)
IT decision-makers are increasingly opting to host key apps in public cloud. “Enterprises are turning great ideas into software and insights faster,” said Bartoletti, “and the cloud is the best place to get quick insights out of enterprise data.”
Trend #12 – Building the cloud
Designing cloud architecture and aligning yourself with best practices for cloud migration both require a new skill-set beyond the ability to design primary on-premises infrastructure.
In a public cloud setting, companies aren’t able to adjust configurations to meet the specifications of their service or app. Rather, they are given a standardized toolset that requires integration, noted Information Age editorial director Ben Rossi.
“It’s the difference between cooking for yourself from raw ingredients,” he said, “and ordering in a restaurant where the chef has set the menu and you choose the meal, associated ambience and service quality to suit your budget.”
Businesses will refine their grasp of cloud architecture so that migrations are easy, seamless, and problem-free.
Trend #13 – The dynamic multi-cloud
The world of cloud is not just about combining different services but using them dynamically. Currently, most workloads are put in place with a single provider. In 2017, dynamically shifting from one CSP to another will more frequently become a way firms assess various options.
With that in mind, Rossi noted that wise companies will be building cloud services so that they are easily customizable to various platforms and infrastructures – facilitating easier moves between providers without disrupting your services.
Trend #14 – Transparent source
Open source is becoming the standard in cloud. You get access to a toolset that allows you to host and manage cloud via a disparate but helpful support network. The OS basis means you are able to get a relatively full-featured cloud system for free – paying primarily for the resources.
Trend #15 – Security and auditing safeguards
Shifting your systems to the cloud can feel like an effort to push security best-practices responsibility to another party. It is true that stronger CSP security oversight will be typical (#3 above).
However, it’s still critically important to verify that the CSP has a commitment to data security. Furthermore, it’s wise to audit the firm so you know that guaranteed precautions are active.
Companies will become better able to determine which suppliers they want to use, and they will look for ways to verify their infrastructure. Firms will also be more careful in reviewing policies for data security and governance.
“This will become ever more important in the light of the forthcoming GDPR regulations,” said Rossi, “and a written definition of all the data security policies and procedures will be required by the regulator when they conduct an audit.”
As you can see, public cloud is growing and evolving rapidly. In this expanding field, you want a provider that deserves your business and can fuel your growth.
At Total Server Solutions, we are SSAE-16 Type II audited, and SSD lets us provide you with the guaranteed levels of performance that you demand. Order your cloud.