Cloud computing. By now you would have thought that every business worth its salt is already using it in one form or another. But the reality is that cloud adoption is not so widespread. Sure, it is popular in certain industries such as telecoms, banking and finance, travel and transportation, logistics, and retail, but adoption is lagging in other industries.
What are the trends to expect for cloud computing in 2018?
1. Cloud spending will increase because of more variety in cloud services and because of the business value that these options offer.
While the cloud marketplace will continue to be dominated by tech giants such as Microsoft and Oracle because of their existing relationships with businesses, and Amazon Web Services because of its strength in IaaS and in helping enterprises keep up with seasonal demand. However, there are new players as well, such as Google Cloud Platform. Oracle is also improving licensing rules for its cloud offerings, making it easier to understand and, in some cases, more affordable for businesses to adopt.
2. More organizations will use the cloud to develop and grow their business.
Most companies are looking at the cloud to reduce infrastructure costs or to be more secure. In short, they are reaping the traditional benefits of going on the cloud. In 2018 and beyond, more and more organizations would be coming up with cloud strategies that could help them with business development. Gone are the days when companies need to invest in infrastructure just to grow. For instance, Coty has grown 16-fold in just 13 years, to being valued at $4 billion in 2011. Part of that success is their use of a cloud-based CRM software. To illustrate this point further, Coty’s consumer contacts grew more than 10 times in just a matter of five years because of the cloud.
3. For businesses to be able to take full advantage of the cloud, they should have a strong foundation that is software-centric.
It is no secret that while cloud adoption is at top of the list of priorities that businesses have, most of them are not really ready for it. There are a lot of reasons for it. For the most part, however, is that most big businesses have heavily invested in infrastructure before, and these legacy systems might prove difficult to let go.
Also because most enterprises do not really see cloud computing as a tool for business development, but rather as another infrastructure that they could get in addition to their existing systems. For the most part, stakeholders would be resistant to change. For instance, people would probably resist having to use Google Docs when they have grown accustomed to Microsoft Office. People would want to use what they are familiar with, even if it means working with legacy systems that impedes business development.
This has to change. Companies should create a strong foundation first by working in standardized, optimized, and virtualized networks. They should start defining tasks as software defined. With this mindset, organizations will be forced to use applications that are already existing, as such prepare them to use cloud resources for business agility, growth, and development.
4. It is not just cloud computing anymore.
The best thing about technology is that nothing is placed in silos anymore. This is especially true with cloud computing. You can expect that other technologies, such as big data, blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence will work with cloud computing, and your business will probably use these technologies in conjunction with your cloud strategies.
These technologies, on their own, already allow you to learn more about your customers, giving you the kind of data you need to build your business. These technologies, especially AI, can also make your cloud deployments a lot more secure.
5. Artificial intelligence can be used for cybersecurity.
There is no stopping cybercriminals from trying to break into your systems and steal valuable information from your servers. New threats and attack vectors are discovered every day, so it is quite impossible to keep up.
What’s more, when an organization moves to the cloud, this means that there is one more perimeter to secure. Done wrong, cloud deployments could be your security’s weakest link and could be the door where these threats could come in. This is also true if you are into IoT. This means that your current security practices and tools would not be enough if you are going to go on the cloud.
The good news is that artificial intelligence could now be employed to make your systems more secure. According to an article from InfosecurityMagazine.com, AI algorithms improve over time because of machine learning. This makes your systems more secure and makes it easier for you to respond to attacks. Traditional anti-virus, anti-malware, and other cyber security tools will not be enough to detect these risks because attacks are constantly evolving. Machine learning is much suited to detect new attacks as they evolve using data from previous attacks and see if there is anything similar.
Artificial intelligence can also free up your IT staff’s time. This is because AI can detect simple attacks, even automatically fighting these threats without any human intervening in the process. AI can be automated to monitor your systems to search for red flags that your IT personnel might miss, either because they were not looking for it in the first place or they are busy doing other tasks.
Moreover, AI can categorize cybersecurity risks according to threat level.
6. There are things we need to learn, unlearn, and learn again.
In the future, the way we work will also change. Work will no longer be tied to a physical desk, but instead will become increasingly mobile.
This will make way for intuitive, powerful, and secure applications to help people do their work anywhere they might find themselves.
In the meantime, colleges and universities will need to build curriculum that would focus on user experience, user interface, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and digital experience. It is these areas that will generate more jobs in the mobile future.
Photo from GotCredit (Flickr).