If you’ve kept an eye on cloud technology news lately, it’s probably clear that the cloud computing market shows no signs of slowing.
A conclusion made by LogicMonitor in 2018 was that 83% of enterprise workloads would exist in the cloud by 2020. Cloud computing can give companies more flexibility, increasing their ability to scale as needs change. It can also cut costs, provided the entities are smart about how and when they utilize the cloud.
However, there are some particular highlights set to shape how people adopt cloud computing this year. Here are six cloud computing trends for you to stay aware of in 2020:
1. The Distributed Cloud Will Gain Momentum
The distributed cloud model involves sending public cloud services to the places that need them and often doing so on a short-term basis. Gartner predicts that, within the next few years, the leading cloud providers will have “a distributed ATM-like presence” for customers with low-latency application requirements.
Gartner analysts also predict a time not too long from now where cloud providers launch micro data centers near densely populated user bases. Plus, they say “pop-up” cloud services could cater to one-off needs, such as connectivity and data transfer capabilities for large-scale sporting events and festivals.
Cubbit is an Italian company that’s trying to get its customers on board with distributed computing by offering products called Cubes that provide up to four terabytes of storage each, plus allow people to share, sync and back up their devices.
2. Artificial Intelligence Will Assist With Cloud Management
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly uprooting practices and processes in sectors ranging from medicine to marketing. It’s not surprising, then, that AI will begin to play more of a role in helping customers manage what they store in the cloud. When people start to hear about how AI could save them time and money, they’ll likely be more willing to implement AI into how they use cloud computing.
The areas where potential exists to combine cloud computing with AI include issue resolution and security enhancement. AI systems typically learn through increased usage. Thus, they can assess which conditions are likely to cause problems and intervene before a preventable issue occurs.
Moreover, AI can understand what’s normal for a system and detect deviations, thereby increasing security and alerting humans to possible infiltrations.
Broadcast television networks are already taking advantage of AI to meet needs associated with cloud-stored media, particularly when meeting advertisers’ demands. In one instance, a banking brand made a large ad spend to sponsor the replays of action in a live championship tennis match.
The advertiser wanted confirmation from the broadcast of how many times the bank’s logo appeared on the screen, and how many times the commentator mentioned the brand’s name before transitioning to show a replay.
Although the broadcaster would have previously handled such requests manually, it used advanced, AI-driven logo detection and audio transcription tools to answer the advertiser’s questions much more efficiently than they otherwise could.
AI is one of the trends in cloud computing that’s likely to become more prominent far beyond 2020. However, you can expect to see more companies offering AI-based tools with their cloud packages this year.
3. More Companies Will Embrace the Hybrid Cloud
The hybrid cloud model enables companies to use a mixture of public and private clouds with some amount of interoperability between them. According to the 2019 statistics, 85% of enterprise representatives cited the hybrid cloud as their “ideal’ operating model.
One of the reasons why many businesses find the hybrid cloud appealing is because they can switch back and forth between clouds as needed to keep expenses down. Uncertain financial costs are among the challenges that cause some businesses to delay their cloud migration plans.
However, choosing the hybrid cloud model is one course of action that could make the expenses more manageable — especially if companies are not ready to go all-in with the cloud just yet.
Also, research suggests that tech companies are especially eager to use the hybrid cloud. They find that it reduces costs while allowing them to have the speed and agility needed to seize new business opportunities in their fast-paced industry.
4. Cloud Security Will Become More of a Priority
Dave Bartoletti, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, mentioned cloud security as one of the trends in cloud computing to watch in 2020. More specifically, he notes that cloud providers must make cloud security more of a focus this year.
Bartoletti believes that the hyperscale cloud providers will ramp up their native cloud security offerings, while cross-cloud management providers work to offer security features that go beyond identity and access management (IAM).
Mordor Intelligence profiled the anticipated cloud computing trends related to security in a report that spanned from 2019-2025. The company expects a 4.98% combined annual growth rate for that timeframe. The analysts responsible for that conclusion said that, although North America will be the largest market for cloud security during that period, the Asia-Pacific region will show the fastest growth.
One recent example of a cloud computing provider investing in security came in October 2019, when VMware acquired Carbon Black, a company that gathers and analyzes endpoint data. Along with that acquisition, VMware announced its intention to create a Security Business Unit within its brand and work on building security into its cloud computing solutions.
It could soon be the case where customers start asking about security features as priorities. Companies that can’t showcase satisfactory options will struggle to compete.
5. Cloud Providers Will Start to Get Serious About Climate Change Preparedness
Climate change may increasingly be a topic covered in the cloud technology news sector. Hal Lonas, chief technology officer at Carbonite, gave a 2020 prediction published by eWEEK and said:
“More organizations than ever now trust the cloud to be available and secure and meet their business needs. We are seeing how cloud storage and digital modernization becomes increasingly important for business continuity. A very real threat to those assets is climate change.”
Lonas continued by giving examples of some of the climate change-triggered events that could affect data centers. He noted, “Wildfire, floods and power outages will become more prevalent. It’s better to trust an [infrastructure as a service] provider to provide resiliency across the threat spectrum rather than businesses and organizations attempting to solve this problem by themselves.”
As recently as 2018, a report from Uptime Institute warned that data center operators were not doing enough to get ready for the adverse effects of climate change. But that may be changing. Rich Sorkin is the CEO of a company called Jupiter Intelligence. It’s a Silicon Valley startup that helps clients assess the physical and financial risks connected to climate change.
During a recent phone interview with E&E News, Sorkin said many of his company’s customers are from the electricity, oil, gas and petrochemical industries for now. If companies in those sectors are worried about their infrastructure’s resilience in the face of climate change, who’s to say cloud computing companies won’t follow suit?
Sorkin confirmed, “Three years ago, when we started the company, almost everyone we talked to said, you know, ‘Climate change, maybe it’s real, maybe’s it’s not. Not really a business issue for us’. Now [the] vast majority of companies we talk to already recognize that climate change is a real thing, and it’s having an impact on their business that they need to understand.”
6. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) on the Rise
Some trends in cloud computing relate to each other. The previous section mentioned how cloud computing providers might soon see climate change as more of an operational risk.
Another, possibly connected, shift in the cloud computing landscape is the increased growth of the disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). It’s a segment of cloud computing that helps companies resume normal operations after a catastrophe strikes.
There’s been a sharp increase in ‘as-a-service’ style products in recent years. The most common one that many people have heard of is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), but we’re now seeing more and more products being marketed this way, DRaaS being one of them. Kayla Matthews, digital tech journalist and owner of the Productivity Bytes blog
An Entrepreneur contributor expects to see peak demand for the DRaaS market in 2020. Companies know that the cost of downtime can reach millions of dollars, and an outage is especially problematic if it makes an essential service non-operational, even for a few minutes.
Plus, a ResearchAndMarkets report backed up that assertion with a market analysis for 2019-2027. It anticipates a 36.67% combined annual growth rate for the global DRaaS sector.
City officials in Oakland, California, chose a DRaaS system that allowed moving the local communications center to the cloud. The city depends on a computer-aided dispatch system to send rescue and first-responder crews to the places where they can aid with recovery. They wanted the communications team to have the capability to keep working even if most internet connectivity in the area went down.
Fascinating Cloud Computing Trends to Follow
These six trends in cloud computing are not the only ones set to shape the market this year. But, you can expect them all to influence when, why and how companies adopt the technology.