As CIOs and IT leaders rely on the cloud to grow their businesses, new trends and innovations will continue to emerge and reshape the future.
Cloud is no longer a buzzword that is only popular in big businesses, but, has trickled down to the masses. It is woven in our everyday lives, in the way we communicate, listen to music, watch movies, and store or share our data. Cloud has also dramatically transformed the way business is conducted. Recent studies have shown that businesses employing cloud services improve their productivity and grow 19.6% faster than those that don’t.
The digital economy we operate in, marks the boundless growth of new age technologies such as IoT, big data, real-time data capturing and analytics, and on-demand services. In this aggressively competitive scenario, cloud provides a conducive environment to create a lean, flexible, and responsive digital eco-system that is required to navigate the rough tides of the connected world.
Here are some key cloud trends that impact IT strategies in 2017 for organizations looking to deploy cloud services:
1. Cloud 2.0
A new era in cloud technology has begun. From ‘cloud first’, companies are moving to ‘cloud only’. As per IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens, cloud implementation is “moving beyond experimentation towards mass enterprise adoption.” Cloud 2.0 is about doing more with the data that is stored in the cloud- analyzing the patterns in data, identifying anomalies and drawing insights. According to Diane Greene, Senior VP of Google’s cloud businesses, organizations should reflect on the question, “Now that you’re in the cloud, how do you take advantage of it so that your business can operate at a whole new level?” Powered by Machine Learning and intelligent analytics, Cloud 2.0 is moving from mere storage to data analysis and more.
2. Cloud Containers
It is believed that the use of cloud containers will become more widespread. The portability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency in operations that containers enable, are the reasons for their increasing popularity. According to cloud experts, containers will be used for deploying solutions to solve real-world business problems. Companies will use them to provide new services that are secure, efficient, elastic, and scalable.
3. Cloud Microservices
Harnessing the real potential of cloud is possible through the use of microservices architecture. Cloud microservices is used for creating new applications, as well as for utilizing existing ones. This is especially useful for companies migrating to the cloud, which can create microservices around existing applications, thereby easing the transition. When combined with containers, microservices can bring to the forefront, the features of scalability, re-usability, and resilience that cloud promotes.
4. Cloud APIs
Cloud Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) are becoming increasingly customer-centric. Being consumer focused is having a positive impact on their quality, maturity and scalability rate. Event economy (If This Then That), web automation, and digital transformation are fueling the growth of cloud APIs, as APIs help in the adoption and development of automation for businesses and consumers. APIs are playing a vital role in business because of their ability to integrate platforms and apps. They are able to remove barriers to revenue growth by facilitating the swift launch and scalability of business models.
5. Server-less Computing
Server-less Computing is a key trend that is bound to grow as it requires far fewer infrastructure resources and eases the load on developers. As the adoption of ‘Function-as-a-service’ increases, server-less computing will rise to support the shift from DevOps (scripted automation) to NoOps (intelligent operations). In line with AI, analytics, and automation, server-less computing will contribute to the creation and use of smarter machines that save time, effort, and money.
6. Cloud Security
Security still remains a concern for companies moving to the cloud, though, there is an increase in the number of organizations that are transitioning. In order to ease their worries, data security in the cloud will have to step up. The cloud is expected to be a strong provider of security as a fundamental offering. Storage options, flexibility, easy deployment, and scalability are features of the cloud that enable it to ensure complete safety of data.
Impact of Cloud Trends 2017
The trends affect multiple aspects of business – growth, cost, revenue, customer experience, and ability to innovate. As these aspects tend to be interconnected, we have examined the impact on the following key factors:
1. Enhanced Customer Experience
Cloud 2.0, being the era of data analytics, real-time intelligence, AI, automation, and machine learning, will enable organizations to understand customers and provide a seamless experience across multiple channels. E-commerce, loyalty programs, and on-demand support are examples of cloud services that aid in providing superior customer experience.
2. Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
On account of being virtual, cloud is more cost efficient than physical infrastructure. Cloud technologies such as server-less computing are bound to reduce costs even further while increasing the organization’s productivity and efficiency. Also, the benefits of agility, flexibility, and scalability that the cloud provides, have long-term impact on optimizing costs.
3. Improved Agility and Business Intelligence (BI)
Cloud APIs help in the faster implementation of business models and their scalability. This means businesses can quickly respond to changes in the market using innovative strategies. Additionally, companies can draw actionable insights by processing and analyzing raw data in the cloud. These insights prove to be a solid base for developing innovative products, services, and solutions.
Leveraging Cloud to Grow your Business
As clearly indicated by the above trends, while there are immense benefits in moving to the cloud, jumping onto the cloud bandwagon without proper knowledge or guidance is far from a prudent business move. For companies to remain updated, relevant, and competitive in a world that is dominated by rapidly evolving technology, they need to have a strategic cloud framework in place that is agile, efficient, and flexible. Partnering with the right solution providers can give companies that edge.
The Road Ahead
As CIOs and IT leaders rely on the cloud to grow their businesses, new trends and innovations will continue to emerge and reshape the future. The use of hybrid models of public and private clouds will become the norm, as organizations use multiple different providers for specific services. Further, companies will have to invest in training the workforce to augment their cloud skills and incubate newer technologies.
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