IN DEPTH: The cloud industry grew significantly in 2016 and its showing no signs of slowing. Here is what we expect to see over the next 12 months
Gotta pick ‘em all
The industry is also seeing businesses taking a multi-vendor approach, rather than just relying on one company to cover all their needs. As Krishnan explained, companies now have an unprecedented amount of choice in how they deploy and consume cloud services, so they are “educating themselves on a variety of solutions and service providers that are the right fit for their business.
“Forward thinking IT organisations will leverage an all-the-above approach that includes; containers, bare-metal, and public cloud as target substrates, he said.”
Kaushik Balasubramanian, senior director of VMWare practice at Rackspace, predicted the same trend, saying: “Just as the combination of public and private clouds is here to stay, major cloud providers like Rackspace, VMware and Microsoft are now enabling the use of multiple cloud vendors to work in tandem across different cloud deployments — a trend we call ‘multi-cloud,’ and one I see growing in 2017.
“Different clouds serve different needs for different businesses, and we’re seeing that most enterprises will consume different clouds across multiple regions for varying use cases/workloads.”
Sean McAvan, managing director at Navisite Europe agreed, saying: “As security, compliance and the need for resilience drive the need for multiple cloud environments, organisations will look to consolidate the management of these diverse platforms. This growing demand for multi-cloud, will also result in more partnerships, mergers and general consolidation in the cloud and service provider market.”
Gregor Petri, research vice-president at Gartner, also emphasised the importance of a diversified strategy: “There is no single answer. Cloud is such a broad term you really can’t take a single approach.”
A complicated landscape
It’s also looking like, for a variety of reasons, 2017 could be a particularly complicated year for businesses to navigate. This isn’t limited to the cloud industry, but it’s one that is likely to be affected more than others.
The combination of Donald Trump entering the White House, new data protection regulations (GDPR) getting ever closer and evolving Brexit discussions will leave organisations with a huge amount to think about.
“Brexit is going to continue to have a disruptive effect on the cloud industry in 2017,” said Kevin Linsell, Director of Strategy & Architecture at Adapt. “It will disrupt the way businesses have been working to date. The industry will have to adapt to the new rules and regulations that will come into place once Article 50 is signed.”
“When you also take into account the impact of the recent US Article 41 and consider the effects that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have in 2018, it is likely that we will witness major delays to IT and cloud decisions in 2017 as businesses deliberate on whether now is the right time to make a move. I expect to see greater clarity on these issues as the year progresses.”
Petri agreed that the current political uncertainty in the world could affect the cloud market. However, he suggested that it might actually have a positive impact, as many will be wary of making large financial commitments and cloud “offers more opportunities to take things step by step.”
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