As the cloud continues to grow and expand, more and more businesses are embracing the cloud and making use of all of the advantages that are offered. Recent years have been filled with much innovation in storage, scaling, and security, along with the addition of container tools such as Docker and Kubernetes.
In 2018, pure technological wizardry will no longer be the driving force behind the cloud because business customers, first intrigued and then enchanted by what the cloud can do, have made the intellectual and psychological leap to fully accepting the cloud as their primary IT strategy and foundation for the future.
Source: Bob Evans for Forbes
As noted in the above quote, organizations are now engaged in the cloud and are less likely to need convincing to make the switch. Instead, they will be more interested in what is offered among the cloud vendors that most suits their needs. With this in mind, what are some things we may expect to see in the world of the cloud for 2018?
Competition on the rise
Right now, public cloud operations are a black box. But the European GDPR requirements will hit in 2018, and advanced enterprise users are becoming more sophisticated in their cloud strategies and need to be able to differentiate their offerings based on the customer experience they provide. As a result, public cloud vendors will be forced to reveal more about how and where specific data packets are hopping through their cloud networks.
Source: Steven Mih, CEO of Aviatrix Systems for DZone
Given that cloud adoption is happening and will continue to grow, competition will become even more heated for all of the new customers looking to make the transition. Since much has been done with technological innovation, winning those new customers may come down to familiar things such as customer service, good product offerings, and pricing.
With many cloud vendors to choose from, these new customers can certainly do their research, so vendors will need to be sure they are on top of things that might make the difference in which service a customer chooses. Customer service is definitely one of those, so it will likely be a good idea for vendors to ensure they are offering the best service possible to their customers.
Hybrid cloud on the rise
Although hybrid clouds have been talked about for a very long time, they will become a “thing” in 2018. As consolidations and partnerships accelerate, and as workload portability becomes an imperative for Azure and GCP, we will witness many new services where customers will be able to run their own private clouds and seamlessly connect with Azure or GCP for additional capacity on demand. Partners like Cisco, HPE, Dell, and VMware will participate in this thing wholeheartedly to ensure a prolonged revenue stream from their existing products.
Source: Dimitri Stiliadis, CEO of Aporeto via eWeek
With more and more organizations making the move, many will want to have some portion of their cloud environment be their own private cloud in order to further protect particular resources and information.
For some companies, the ability to have a hybrid cloud setup could be the difference between making the transition or not. Cloud vendors that can integrate well with private clouds to make having a hybrid cloud easy for customers should stand to benefit from this.
Security will still dominate
We expect 2018 will see more individual and state-sponsored attacks aimed at undermining the security of cloud infrastructures. As cyber attackers become more sophisticated, security analysts in government, public, and private sectors will also have to become more sophisticated and timely in their methods for detecting and preventing attacks.
As always, security will be a key concern and yet another thing that could be the deciding factor in a potential customer making the transition to the cloud. With all the attacks that could arise, it is imperative that cloud vendors make security a top priority again – for 2018 and into the future. Since security will never be something that can be ignored, it certainly is a good idea for cloud vendors to put great efforts into making sure their cloud infrastructures are as safe as possible from any potential breaches.
While cloud adoption will continue to rise, it looks like 2018 could be a year for competition among cloud vendors. The difference may come down to which vendors can offer the best combination of price, security, and customer service, which in the end is good for those organizations which are seeking to make the cloud transition in the new year!