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The cloud. It’s foundational to business in digital transformation and will continue to be in years to come. But nothing stays the same for long in the digital age. So, how is the cloud itself transforming? And what does enterprise cloud computing look like in 2019 and beyond? The following are a few of the biggest trends to watch for in the year ahead.
SaaS Ecosystems are Growing
To me, the most exciting thing about cloud right now is that software as-a-Service (SaaS) ecosystems are finally starting to grow. That means entire industries that need to share data for certain tech advancements to be 100 percent useful—industries like supply chain and healthcare—can finally start to enjoy the benefits. For instance, in a supply chain, every touch point on the chain needs to be linked to ensure that the integrity of the product moving through it has been preserved. As the ecosystem grows, more and more members of the supply chain will be using the same technology to move that product along. This is huge, especially in regard to technologies like blockchain.
More Cloud-to-Edge Fabrics
As we need more information to move more quickly—and closely—to its source, we need more ways to transport that data. Thanks to the continued advancement of 5G, this year, we’ll be seeing more fabrics developed to allow for more flexible distribution of data in myriad use cases, including data, apps, workloads, etc. Essentially, this means real-time transfer of data will be even easier, which opens up the doors for the IoT, machine learning, and other data processing to happen faster than ever before. This will be useful in industries like self-driving automobiles and automated surgical procedures where real-time processing is critical. It will also give businesses more choices in how they want to distribute their data and is one of the enterprise cloud computing trend to watch for this year.
Containers Aren’t Just for Shipping
Big Kahunas like AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are investing more in Kubernetes and other containers for serverless computing, and for good reason. Serverless computing deployment will allow companies to deploy apps and microservices without worrying about configuration issues. They can scale, manage, and replace individual pieces of a distributed system easily, knowing that if one app in one container is broken, it won’t impact any of the others. This allows developers to carve out small parts of large software projects and upgrade them, roll them out, etc. more easily, with less impact. Eventually, the entire cloud will be serverless—not this year, but soon. Truly, this will change the entire concept of “networking” and what it means to “roll out” any new technology moving forward and is something to watch for in the future of enterprise cloud computing.
Multi-Cloud Gets Safer (Or Tries To)
It’s no longer enough to use cloud. Research from Forrester shows most companies have two or more different cloud vendors, with public cloud spend estimated to be about $200 billion. Out of sheer necessity, you can expect for companies to pay more attention to compliance and security controls for multi-cloud environments.
Lastly, one exciting thing we’ll see is the development of cloud-native architecture. This means looking at the development of deployments of apps in a way that mirrors the cloud environment, making processes and workflows even more efficient. This involves auto-provisioning environments as code, auto-scaling and pulling resources as appropriate, and including auto-redundancy to ensure resilience. In essence, cloud-native architecture means companies can finally optimize to the cloud’s level—rather than the level of their previous legacy systems.
It’s an exciting time to invest in enterprise cloud computing and reconsider your company’s cloud structure. Not all of the above trends may apply to you, but it is likely that many will help you improve efficiencies enterprise wide.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio