By the end of 2015, 82 percent of organizations had adapted a cloud strategy, up from 74 percent in 2014. Cloud computing adoption is expected to hit $250 billion by 2017, but where is this segment of the IT industry going? We compiled a list of five major, influencing trends to keep your eyes on.
Last year, business-level automation of the cloud emerged, being driven by what Joe Kinsella at Cloud Tech called the “complexity gap”, where the complexity of the building and managing of cloud infrastructure is outpacing the ability of management software and services to contain it. “The future of the cloud will not be DevOps engineers writing low-level scripts to automate parts of our infrastructure,” he said. “Instead it will be business-level automation, with enterprises inputting the policies by which they want their business systems managed and smart software executing these policies in support of the business.”
In Solutions Review, Brad Schulteis at Rackspace and Aaron Newman at CloudChekr commented on the significant security challenges facing the cloud in 2016. “We have failed to move beyond antiquated security analysis frameworks, and it’s still far too common to be required to document physical locations, IP addresses, and host names as a part of security assessments and audits,” said Schulteis. “We need to stop collectively treating cloud computing as IT outsourcing or server colocation and fully embrace the dynamic nature of the cloud.”
Newman added that the cloud has introduced the biggest challenge to security in a decade.
“Organizations will continue to need to properly implement network, operating system, and database security, but the cloud has characteristics that make the old methodologies and tools ineffective,” he said. “It’s ephemeral, elastic, and auto-scaling, and this makes everything from intrusion detection to vulnerability management to perimeter assessment very different.”
According to Joe McKendrick in his recent article for Forbes, 2016 will be the year we’ll see a solidification of cloud computing’s role as a gateway to new things — and not just as the latest IT strategy. “Thanks to cloud, there will be many things people will be able to do that they simply couldn’t do before. They will be able to experiment, to test, and to pull data and applications from many sources,” he said. “One area where cloud really is laying the groundwork for innovation is in the Internet of Things space. Let’s face it, without cloud, there would be no IoT, just a bunch of Things.”
Infrastructure as a Service is a way of delivering cloud computing infrastructure such as servers, storage, network and operating systems. As an on-demand service, this platform costs less than building a traditional onsite network infrastructure with servers, software, data center space, and network equipment. IaaS systems can be both public and private and can be procured separately or together for a total customized platform. The whole of cloud computing may be represented by IaaS at the base, PaaS as the means of development, and SaaS as the means for productivity.
Hybrid cloud computing refers to the use of a combination of public and private cloud services alongside physical applications, services, and infrastructures. “This integrated cloud model consists of external as well as internal cloud platforms that can be leveraged on the basis of specific business requirements,” said development firm Mahindra Comviva on its blog. “Companies should focus immediate efforts here."
Mahindra Comviva also commented on the rise of cloud services brokerage. “This involves a service provider assisting in the consumption of cloud computing, and as a trend it is gaining speed as users choose cloud services free from the IT bureaucracy.” But IT itself can be a CSR (cloud service broker) by creating flexible processes and tools that are easy for business users to adopt.
Which of these cloud computing trends have become realities for your organization?