How The Next 10 Years Of Cloud Computing Will Smash The Last 10?
By Kamal Jacob
Over the last few years, there has been a massive growth in the adoption of cloud computing. From starting off just as an experiment to help businesses save costs to becoming a critical and integral part of today’s IT infrastructure, the cloud is becoming paramount for organizations to grow their business and drive it forward. The demand to host critical business data on the cloud is on the rise year after year. Cloud technology has brought in tremendous breakthroughs in transforming businesses and revolutionized the way people use cloud-based applications to access their data.
So, how has the cloud been able to create this revolution in the IT space? Let’s take a look at the history of cloud computing and the technical advancements in the last decade.
History of cloud computing
The evolution of cloud computing can be well correlated with the evolution of computers. From the huge and very expensive Mainframes in the 1950s to computers with Graphical User Interface (GUI) and support for Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) in the 1980s, cloud computing also has its roots dating back to the mainframe era. In the 70s, the concept of virtualization made it possible for businesses to use one or more operating systems in a totally isolated environment. This idea did not kick through as expected, however, the major breakthrough for cloud computing came in the year 1999. The introduction of SalesForce.com that brought in the concept of delivering enterprise applications through a website set the tone and paved the way for the growth of cloud computing.
Later, in the early 2000s, Amazon launched their cloud services called Amazon Web Services (AWS) that organizations can take advantage to create and deploy their applications on the cloud. In 2006, Amazon launched Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) technology that offers secure compute facility on the cloud according to the business needs. In the later years, Google, Microsoft, and even Apple stepped into the cloud computing fraternity that changed the momentum of growth of cloud computing.
Growth of cloud in the past decade
In the past decade, cloud technology has grown from just being an option to becoming an integral part of most businesses across various industries. Cloud service providers have put in their efforts to make businesses move their on-premise workloads into the cloud with lucrative subscription models. Few of the cloud providers such as ServiceNow, Zendesk also came up with the Software as a Service (SaaS) model which gave the businesses the comfort to run their enterprise applications on the cloud. The growth of SaaS quickly saw the rise of other services like Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and even Disaster Recovery (DR) and Backup as a Service became prominent.
Over 20,000 cloud services are available for users and organizations from Email applications, the entire suite of office products (Office Suite), chat tools like Skype, CRM tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, storage tools like Dropbox, Box and so on. To sum up, in the past decade, the cloud has become the primary option for businesses to run their workloads, build on the capabilities offered by cloud service providers and develop a long-term relationship.
The future of the cloud
While the cloud has grown in the last decade, it is only expected to grow further and reach greater heights. Leading research companies like IDC predict that by the year 2020, more than 60% of IT spending and about 60-70% of the software, technology, and services spending will be on the cloud. “Cloud First” is the strategy moving forward for all organizations. Similarly, Gartner also predicts that cloud computing is becoming the preferred vehicle for the next-generation digital businesses, and for agile, scalable and elastic solutions. Gartner also predicts that the public cloud will account for over $206 billion in revenue in the year 2019. Let’s take a look at what’s in store with the cloud technology in the next decade.
1. Cloud technology – the forefront of the enterprise technology
According to the report from Google on the future of cloud computing, over 47 percent of the participants state that their organization uses a public/private cloud. When estimating the predictions for the next 10 years, the percentage jump is by almost 30 percentage points. The next 10 years will see cloud become the forefront of the enterprise technology along with a lot of executive support.
About 79 percent of the survey respondents feel that the cloud plays a vital role in the revenue growth of the organization. More than 87 percent of the respondents feel that the cloud will be a major driver of revenue growth in the next 10 years. The number is even higher (95%) for Indian business as organizations start to believe that cloud technology will shape their success in the coming years.
2. All-in cloud strategy
Gartner predicts that by 2021, more than half of global enterprises already using cloud today will adopt an all-in cloud strategy. By moving to the all-in cloud strategy, organizations have the opportunity to replace the applications within the data center with a SaaS one or completely rebuild/re-architect the application and think different.
As Gill Haus, Senior Vice President, Retail and Direct Bank CIO & Technology Delivery Transformation for Capital One says “There’s an experience we know our customers want. By not just taking applications that exist and lift-and-shift them to the cloud, but by re-architecting them and thinking about them differently, we can provide those experiences…and open up entirely new worlds for us [and our customers].” The all-in cloud strategy is expected to have more impact on IT when compared to a cloud-only or cloud-first strategy. It’s up to the organization to plan the move carefully whether they adopt the all-in cloud strategy or even the cloud-only or cloud-first strategy.
3. The shift to Serverless Computing
After SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and even IT Management as a Service (ITMaaS), serverless computing brings the advantage for users by freeing them from managing servers, operating systems, and containers. With serverless computing, the entire application environment is run by the cloud provider. Serverless computing doesn’t mean there are no servers. There are still servers used but just that it is visualized more as a high-level abstraction.
With Serverless Computing, businesses no longer have to perform server related tasks (IaaS) such as load balancing, etc. This reduces the concern for the end users and they will be able to scale quickly to handle millions of requests without hurting the budget. This technology is the way forward for businesses to save further on infrastructure costs, and leading cloud service providers (AWS, Microsoft, Google) already offer their own version of serverless computing solutions for the users.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
In addition to offering cloud services, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have already started to offer features specific to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The well-known features include facial recognition, speech recognition services such as Siri, Alexa, email spam filters, and more. It’s quite evident that these companies utilize cloud services to build these capabilities.
“AI could double the size of the $260 billion cloud market in the coming years”, indicates Rajen Seth who works as a senior director of product management at Google’s Cloud AI unit. With machine learning, the amount of data that businesses possess and the numbers are bound to grow, it only gets better for the vendor’s offering to make better decisions and reach a lot more customers. In simple terms, the race is on between the cloud leaders to set their foot in the AI and ML space, and the leaders in this space have all the chances to become the pioneers in the history of the industry.
The concept of containers helps developers to easily migrate their software code. According to the Cloud Foundry report, 53% of organizations are using containers or looking at the probability of using them in the development or production environment. Open source solutions like Docker help developers to easily add additional functionalities without being worried about getting locked on to a particular vendor. Over the past few years, Kubernetes, another open-source system to automate deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications, is making its way as the preferred solution to deploy containers at the operating system level. As we can see, containerization is definitely expected to play a major role in taking cloud computing to the next level.
The cloud technology has definitely come a long way over the past few years, and has a promising decade ahead. The more organizations start to embrace the technology, the best they can extract from the technology. There’s no doubt why the next decade of cloud technology will not be as exciting as the last one. Keen to master your career in this cloud-enabled world? Get started with our Cloud Computing Foundation certification course today.