We’re well into this particularly dark and chilly New Year. However, an early February blog wouldn’t be complete without a list of predictions for the upcoming months. Here’s our view on what we think will be big in the world of Cloud in 2017.
Prediction 1: Rates of Cloud adoption will still vary
In the past year, Nordcloud has seen a rise in customers wanting to make the move into the Cloud, indicating that the market is growing. Two or three years ago, it was a different story. Companies that wanted to refresh their hardware were unconvinced about the Cloud’s value and it would take some time to persuade decision makers that going ‘Cloud’ was the right business choice.
Driven by the requirement to refresh hardware, we still see a trend where managers prefer the ‘lift and shift’ model, taking what they have already and ‘shifting’ it into another location, in this case the cloud. Unfortunately, this causes the same inefficiencies in consumption that have plagued businesses for many years. As Cloud operates on a utilities style model, consumption will still be inefficient (a bit like wasting energy with the radiator still on in the house when you go out). It's the job of Cloud Providers and their selected partners like Nordcloud, to educate customers on how to utilise this more efficiently.
This year, Nordcloud believe we will see many companies revisit their lift and shift efforts to optimise spending as well as a larger uptake on lift and shift projects by companies who have finally made the decision not to refresh their on premise systems. In many cases, their next hurdle is to overcome the level of complexity in their legacy systems, in order to understand the best migration path. Nordcloud see a trend in situations like this, where leveraging a knowledgeable migration/cloud partner will add more value to the process.
Prediction 2: More players in the Cloud space
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google are the three most popular providers in the field, all of which have refined how they validate certain architectures and verticals, such as healthcare and financial services. These Cloud Service Providers (CSP) have gone through extensive efforts to achieve certification on their underlying platform, for frameworks such as SOC and PCI-DSS. Now, other companies are also flexing their proverbial cloud muscles, but may take some time to catch up (if at all) with the three main contenders in terms of market share.
In our opinion, IBM is worth a mention right now and can at least boast some services that equal the functionality of mature clouds. We feel they will continue to improve their offering and secure a percentage of market share in the Enterprise space. It will be interesting to see, as one of the only independent Cloud Agnostic consulting partners, whether we'll need to make room for a 4th cloud.
Prediction 3: Chances of success - embracing the Cloud
Increasing amounts of companies are starting to make the move onto the Cloud. Our experience has taught us that many customers who move to the cloud (with 100% success rates) then have a lower success rate when driving TCO down and making a change to the company culture that is required to truly benefit from all of the features. We tell our customers that for the cloud transition to be successful, companies must also adopt a good company culture, work on their values and the principles needed to improve the velocity with which they can bring value to their customers. Customers that succeed in doing so, usually gain the competitive edge in their own marketplace.
Nordcloud predict the cloud transition will continue over the next year with larger organisations looking to focus primarily on Lift and Shift to reap the benefits of lowering TCO, over operating on premise systems. Additionally we feel that the larger ‘early’ adopters will now return to their efforts in the Cloud Journey to scrutinise the usage of cloud and begin optimising platforms to adhere to the cloud model.
Lastly, we feel partners to the major CSPs will begin to see an influx of niche ‘unheard of’ companies that will require consultative services to achieve their goals of moving to the cloud. These niche companies do very well in their own marketplace, but outside of this they are generally unknown. Nordcloud has already experienced this and found ourselves saying ‘we never knew it existed’, but that hasn’t prevented us from achieving successful migrations and ensuring our customers felt there was true advantages in our involvement.
Prediction 4: ‘Serverless’ Clouds
Interestingly enough, the leaders in technology and cloud adoption are not getting caught up in infrastructure planning. They are now looking for PaaS services (like AWS’s Lambda or Azure Functions) to almost completely remove the need for a ‘crystal ball’ to estimate what their ideal end production would look like. We’re starting to see established businesses realising the value of becoming 'serverless', a concept that has less risk, for less cost.
There are many reasons for leveraging these types of PaaS platforms, predominantly they remove the overly complex requirements for infrastructure and planning and allow Developers to experiment and be innovative, whilst maintaining a lower cost of entry. Nordcloud predict that many well known business will now look to create a new breed of applications that will completely optimise the process of innovation to customer delivery.
Nordcloud foresee that by the end of the year businesses will begin redirecting investment toward Developers learning how to build applications by leveraging native cloud services such as those mentioned above, building serverless, fault tolerant/resilient applications that cost a fraction of the traditional costs to run. These applications will run on-demand in a true utility style model, costing only as much as their usage.
Prediction 5: Voice control and the evolution of machine learning
Many of you reading this blog will have probably at some point used voice control (through Cortana, Siri, Ok Google or Alexa). In a lot of cases, it’s more efficient to use voice for an action, especially whilst cooking, or booking a hotel or plane. On the other hand, if you want to add something a bit more complex to a shopping list, command by voice is difficult (if many options are returned, you’d need to filter down to individual fields like size, type, price etc.). Adding another layer to the process for filters would not be possible without the Cloud, which can create completely serverless platforms that can filter your results based on various facets requires clever voice interface design. Even though this innovation is further in the future, it does show that businesses are being more innovative. They are optimising their platforms as much as possible for the end user and becoming more intelligent. But how long will it be before the interface can be visually controlled?
Toward the end of the year (we think), there will be greater innovation in the visual and audio world, applying recognition technologies to aid workers in optimising their workflow. This may even be extend into robotics (think drones and other robotic systems) and start a new wave of optimisation, meaning again, we’ll need to retrain our staff to operate in a new way (think farming). We’ve been through just a few predictions, but the possibilities are endless.
If you’d like to talk to our cloud experts further about how Nordcloud can help with your journey to the cloud, contact us here.