We all know that Cloud is driving one of the biggest transformations in IT in a generation. Now over a decade old, many organisations have broken through the FUD barrier to accept cloud as at least somewhat mature. Larger and younger organizations are more bullish - most of the largest enterprises are using multiple cloud services and systems in production, while many younger organizations use nothing but cloud.
Provider landscape – familiar faces getting hungrier
In the few short years to 2020, the public cloud landscape will remain largely dominated by today’s global players. At the same time competition will be increasingly evenly-matched, as years of investment nibble away at first mover advantage. The main shake-up will be new cloud providers from China, bringing their mature domestic services to fresh Western markets. By 2020 onward there will be a wider range of credible services in the market from a broader bench of providers. This will help vendors avoid complacency and keep offerings competitive for cloud consumers.
Market adoption – rate of change and security take the front seat
Cloud adoption will increasingly penetrate segments of the market that have previously resisted. Whereas cheap on-demand resources kicked off demand for cloud, in 2020 demand will be increasingly driven by the pace of systems change. When your competitors are able to make tactical pivots, and they are not held back by their core systems, you learn the hard way that it’s time to find a more flexible (cloudy) solution. Other cloud laggards will in future adopt cloud to address security and compliance concerns – which is ironic as today security is the main reason for not using cloud.
Technology evolution – cloud gets simpler
Initial cloud services were designed to be familiar to IT teams, so provided cloud equivalents to existing IT components. As cloud penetrates further into the market, demand is growing for simpler services that are easier to use. By 2020 so-called “serverless” cloud services will be starting to gain broad adoption, helping drive the complexity out of cloud.
Cloud goes AWOL
The final surprise in the evolution of cloud will be its crowd-pleasing vanishing act. This will not happen by 2020, although the signs will already be there: just as electronic diaries and phone-books disappeared into smartphones, cloud will in due course be absorbed into regular IT. The end of cloud discussions will signal that (finally) cloud has become truly mainstream.
What can you do to prepare?
Cloud is going to be a key element of IT for the foreseeable future. While the major players are already entrenched, it is never too late to start building your cloud plan, whether as an IT service consumer, as an overlay IT service provider, or as a supplier to the ecosystem. The only wrong course of action is to ignore it!
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