Five Key Cloud Trends To Focus On In 2020

Anand Kapoor, Global Head of IT, SPi Global | Monday, 27 January 2020, 07:11 IST

Anand Kapoor, Global Head of IT, SPi GlobalSPi Global is a market-leading content technology and content solutions enterprise that provides data services and subject matter expertise (SME) to multiple industries such as research, learning and education, finance, healthcare and life sciences, media and retail, and other corporates.

Cloud technology has come a long way since Amazon released Elastic Compute, the first cloud service in the market, in 2006. Cloud services became a hit because it allowed small-and-medium enterprises and start-ups greater ease in enabling computing resources to be dialled up or down depending on their needs. Some of these firms came to be early adopters and completely cloud native.

The past 14 years have seen a sea of change in the way we consume cloud services; and the writing on the wall is now clear: the cloud is here to stay. The complexity of workloads in the cloud will only increase further. With more IT managers and organizations placing their trust in cloud- environment delivery, more enterprises of all sizes, and from various industries, will increasingly be cloud-based.

Here are five key trends to watch out for in the cloud technology space:

• Rise of Cloud-led Security Solutions

The past years have seen numerous instances when firms have shied away from cloud loads due to the lack of a secure environment. However, this reason will soon be insignificant as we would now see security providers shift to a cloud-led strategy. The McAfee announcement about their Unified Cloud edge and their positioning themselves as a “device-to-cloud security company” indicates just that. As most IT managers seek to declutter and simplify their security infrastructure, I also predict the rise of more security solutions that are delivered off the cloud, allowing firms to run unified policies and consistent experiences.

“Regardless of what 2020 brings, the one thing clear with cloud computing is that it will grow stronger and more flexible than it ever was”

• Hybrid Cloud Choices and Containers

If 2019 was the year when firms elected to stay on multiple cloud platforms, 2020 will be the year for unified management tools and platform-agnostic deployments. I am sure we would start to see some sort of consolidation or movement in the container market. We would also see more teams developing platform-agnostic solutions. Containers will offer ease in terms of porting loads rapidly across different platforms. This also reduces fears of being locked in with a single player, keeps the platform provider on their toes, and offers consumers a plethora of options. In fact, the next feature I would like to see in cloud management tools would be the ability to dynamically deploy containers on the fly across platforms.

• Better Visibility on Cloud Spend

The flexibility that cloud environments provided tended to make finance teams unhappy because of the inability to predict or control runaway spends. All IT managers with cloud workloads have had at least one instance where cloud costs went past projections or budgets and needed regularization. Since most cloud-based solutions offer real-time spend visibility at almost all stages of deployment, procurement, finance, and technology teams can collaborate, budget, plan and forecast cloud expenses, allowing the organisation to negotiate better terms with its providers and adjust costs effectively.

• Cloud-oriented Career Options

2020 will bring in a host of dedicated career options for professionals in an increasingly cloud native world. Most of today’s set of specialists started their careers in an on-premise world; however, as technologies evolve, we would see a new set of cloud-only engineers as opposed to a reskilled workforce. With most AI/ML workloads already cloud native, and the push for IOT resulting in edge computing, specializations in cloud-oriented careers now seem boundless.

• Server-less and FaaS Computing

Server-less computing offerings will mature this year, allowing architects to lower costs and focus on core products instead of handling additional servers. So far, going server-less meant IT managers had to commit to a single provider and overhaul traditional development and release management mechanisms. But as systems mature and FaaS (Function as a Service) picks up, using a container and FaaS approach frees users from being tied down to a single provider. Today this isn’t smooth, and I would not personally use this on a mission-critical environment just yet. However, this is the one area where I hope to see major enhancements - a space where major providers support more languages (today we are limited to JavaScript). As each of the cloud giants deliver additional server-less features, architects must now focus on envisioning services independent of the ecosystem.

Regardless of what 2020 brings, the one thing clear with cloud computing is that it will grow stronger and more flexible than it ever was. Innovations in this space will allow companies to offer stronger product lines, and also lay the groundwork for new technologies, career tracks and a whole new approach for technology adoption.

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