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
The concept of digital transformation, pushed by Cisco, Microsoft, Dell and others, has transformed the role of cloud over the past 12 months.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data are being widely adopted in just about any industry you can think of and all of them are, and will continue to be, underpinned by cloud.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to rule the roost. It dominated the market with a 45 percent share of the public cloud sector, holding its main competitors Google, Microsoft and IBM at bay, and finished the year by announcing expansions into Montreal in Canada and London in the UK.
In an effort to keep pace with AWS, Google rebranded its portfolio of services and products under the ‘Google Cloud’ umbrella and expanded its reach with eight new regions while Microsoft launched its first UK-based data centres for Azure shortly before IBM followed suit with a UK upgrade.
There still are, of course, significant security concerns to keep CEOs and CTOs awake at night but the cloud industry is showing no signs of slowing. So, lets have a look at what we expect to see in the year ahead.
Accelerated enterprise adoption
It’s now not a question of if organisations should move to the cloud, but when do to it and which applications to take. We have well and truly moved past the experimentation phase, into what many analysts have dubbed ‘Cloud 2.0.’
With this in mind, expect adoption in the enterprise to accelerate again in 2017 as organisations look to maximise their efficiency, scalability and agility.
“The cloud market will accelerate even faster in 2017,” writes Forrester in its 2017 predictions report. “Enterprises use multiple clouds today, and they’ll use even more in 2017 as CIOs step up to orchestrate cloud ecosystems that connect employees, customers, partners, vendors, and devices to serve rising customer expectations.”
Gartner has similar thoughts, predicting the technology’s “second decade” to be an era of continuing and accelerating growth: “Cloud computing continues to dominate IT and business conversations worldwide as acceptance of the concept becomes mature. Hype remains high, and adoption is increasing.”
Abby Kearns, executive director at the Cloud Foundry Foundation also agreed, providing Silicon with the somewhat tongue-in-cheek prediction that 2017 will see the “global domination of cloud.”
She continued: “I think we’ll start seeing a lot more enterprise organisations moving to public cloud and taking advantage of the size, scale, elasticity that the public cloud can offer, plus all the native services that these public cloud providers can offer.”
Enterprises will face increasing competition from smaller, fast-moving companies in 2017 and the wider adoption of cloud technologies will give them the speed and agility to respond to such threats.
Containers become standard
The use of containers has grown rapidly since Docker first thrust the technology into the industry’s consciousness, but its prevalence and importance is expected to rise to a whole new level in 2017.
Prashanth Chandrasekar, vice president and general manager at Rackspace, predicts that “containers will see more mainstream adoption” this year, as does Anand Krishnan, EVP and GM of Canonical’s cloud division.
Krishnan is also predicting that we’ll see “the next generation of containers” in the form of LDX, which “improve IT operations and have been proven successful in enabling a cost-effective scale-out infrastructure. Companies are seeing the rigid inflexibilities and increased costs of virtual machines and are beginning to turn to LXD containers to make their cloud deployments more efficient.”
The use of containers will become standard practice over the next 12 months as developers leverage the ability to create microservices for their clients, providing a much more agile environment.