Rise of the cloud
The cloud rose to new heights in 2017 as tech giants like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and a host of other vendors competed for market space. As we enter 2018, enterprises continue to look to the cloud to gain a competitive edge and achieve their business objectives. Based on themes spilling over from last year, we’ve compiled a list of some of the cloud computing themes to keep an eye out for in 2018.
Large enterprises have been less eager to embrace cloud computing than startup companies. In order to ease the transition, many businesses are being drawn to a hybrid cloud computing model, enabling them to hold onto their legacy infrastructure, while reaping the benefits of the cloud. According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the hybrid cloud market is expected to reach $91.74 billion by 2021 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.5%.
Serverless computing has also broken onto the cloud computing stage, which enables developers to write and launch code. While applications still run in the cloud, with serverless computing, developers do not need to provision resources. Instead, automation performs such tasks, allowing developers to spend more time writing code. It is anticipated that serverless computing will begin to emerge in private cloud deployments as companies seek to differentiate themselves along their digital transformation journey.
The open source platform Kubernetes has essentially won the container orchestration wars, emerging as the de facto cloud orchestrator. The technology allows users to launch the same software server stack across public clouds, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform. Hype surrounding the platform isn’t expected to wane anytime soon as cloud vendors continue to offer Kubernetes-based services and support throughout the year.
Blockchain applications are beginning to make headway in the cloud as well. Some cloud providers are already ready to make blockchain an enterprise service. The technology enables users to make online transactions in a decentralized, distributed way. Microsoft was among the first software vendors to provide Blockchain-as-a-Services (BaaS) on its Azure cloud platform in 2015. Since then, other cloud vendors like AWS and Microsoft have premiered blockchain offerings.
A branch of artificial intelligence (A.I.) known as machine learning is beginning to be applied to the cloud too. Many companies offer machine learning and A.I.-based cloud services, including Google, Microsoft, AWS and IBM. According to a recent Deloitte Global report, “In 2018, large and medium-sized enterprises will intensify their use of machine learning. The number of implementations and pilot projects using the technology will double compared with 2017, and they will have doubled again by 2020.”
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