We hear the term ‘the year of cloud’ many a time, I profess it is ‘the decade of cloud’ and we haven’t even really started yet. Cloud as a term has been overused and hyped as the be all and end all. But it is a very generic term encompassing SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), Hybrid cloud, Private and Public as well as for many web 2.0, social media, apps and more.
Having been in the cloud industry for over 12 years and had a wealth of opportunity to engage with businesses across vertical sectors, from small local businesses to global enterprises and across geographic regions I have witnessed an evolutionary change of acceptance of ‘cloud technologies’ from adamant ‘we resist / no Cloud policies’ through to ‘all in - cloud 1st strategies’. We seem to have settled down now into a world where there is acceptance that cloud options should always be considered and the fear of cloud has diminished to a point where questions are asked and diligence done, rightly so, but not as a barrier to progressing, but as a necessary checkpoint.
Cloud is going to rapidly proliferate, not though the name of cloud; who says ‘I want some cloud’! but due to the accelerated and rapid growth of emerging technologies powered by cloud somewhere or somehow. There are fast becoming the norm in everyday life and appearing on business agenda’s across sectors. We find Big Data, AI, IOT, VR and even Drones all appearing in ever more interesting and applicable ways, with their prices becoming consumable by even the smallest of firms. By 2020 we can expect to be seeing AI and IOT increasingly in our everyday lives, often transparent to us and with cloud hidden away powering their wondrous delivery.
We now hear the terms edge computing, fog computing and wider use of …..As A Service as the cloud sector matures. With this maturing comes a wave of change in the underlying delivery mechanism and platforms. We started muchly with hosting, data centres hosting your own racked equipment or providing racks where you could remotely install your applications onto your own single tenancy instance. Heading towards 2020 we are seeing an acceleration of re-platforming, customers moving their workloads to the public cloud, where the early concerns have gone and we now see compute and storage costs constantly reducing on what is known as the Race to Zero (who will be the 1st to give it away?) . This whilst performance, reliability and function have increased. We have never seen a time in compute previously where the power and function went up at as high an exponential as prices are coming down.
Compounding this is technology vendors who themselves are re-platforming, moving their SaaS offerings from their own hosted data centres to the likes of the big 3, AWS, Azure or Google. We have seen major technology SaaS firms already doing this and, in my experience, both where I have worked and those I know well in the sector, this is increasingly commonplace. Cloud firms realising their core is the IP and expertise, not running the traditional cloud infrastructure itself. Add to this that we are seeing a growth of hosting firms, traditionally fighting against these public cloud giants, not getting on board, reselling their hosting and wrapping their cloud expertise around the unbeatable compute power <> price ratio that the goliaths can deliver.
By 2020 we can expect cheaper prices throughout the cloud chain, the emergence of eye opening new tech at home and in the workplace and a change under the covers of how the cloud providers themselves deliver and monetarise their own offerings.
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