2018 has been a busy year with a furious competition between the major cloud providers (Top cloud providers 2018: How AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Alibaba stack up | ZDNet) to provide new features, lower the entry barriers and figure out what is the next innovation?!
With a huge focus on Machine Learning, Cognitive Services and IOT, The cloud providers are looking to differentiate themselves to avoid (delay) the price war, increase penetration and accelerate adoption.
In my opinion, next year(s) will see a slight shift in the market demands and the rise of new cloud models. I started to signs of this change and weak signals of the future trajectory of the cloud market.
Multi-Cloud – Many enterprise organisations are looking to adopt more than one cloud platform.
There are several reasons for this
- Diversification: Enterprises are trying to avoid vendor lock-in and sometimes it is pushed by procurement policies so that the IT Infrastructure is not dependent on one vendor
- Leverage Individual Strengths: Each Cloud provider is trying to differentiate by highlighting particular strengths from the other vendors. Microsoft are pushing Hybrid Cloud, Intelligent Cloud, Edge for IOT and PaaS. Google are playing on the big data and AI workloads. AWS are relying on the strength within the start-ups market, IaaS and Machine learning. Enterprise are looking to pick the right cloud for the workload. Although most of the cloud providers can do all workload with strengths, approaches. It is furious race!
- Disaster Recovery: Especially for mention critical workloads, Enterprises look to have an element of disaster recovery in case of the main cloud provider has serious issues, they can use another infrastructure.
Cross-Cloud migration/Integration – Enterprises are looking to be able to move between cloud providers and integrate workloads across clouds
Following from the multi-cloud strategy, Enterprises will look to build integrations and networks between workloads across cloud providers. This will require a lot of design work and security planning, and I wonder if the cloud providers would facilitate or slow down this from happening.
As the competition gets stronger, Enterprise will request to move workloads across cloud providers to benefit from additional features, better prices…etc. This like any other IT products when client wants to change CRM platform or database…etc.
On the back of this, I see many Third-party tools will appear in the market to facilitate the migration between cloud providers, and as these tools get more robust, the move between cloud providers will be easier and this would add more pressure on the cloud providers to ensure their clients don’t leave them!
Governance – new and enhanced operating models are needed to manage Clouds
Traditional data centre or virtualized environments management is different from Cloud. The operating model, governance, quality gates and cost management are different. I see with the rise of PaaS adoption where you cannot have a limit on the maximum usage (e.g. number of messages goes through a queue or read/writes on a database), the cost management for usage-based services will be a huge topic, and it requires different ways of planning, control and management.
These are my personal views and I would love to hear your opinions and views the cloud next year.
Happy New Year!
Disclaimer – all views are mine and doesn’t represent my employer or any cloud provider.