There was a time not so long ago when the friendly IT infrastructure team was a staple of many companies. Often seen heading into a mysterious basement area to tend the in-house managed servers, and possessing a seemingly arcane knowledge of how to keep the organisation’s computing needs up and running.
However, throughout the 2010s the opportunities of reduced costs, flexibility and competitive advantage offered by ever improving cloud technology led to explosive growth in the industry, forever changing the IT landscape.
With research compiled by Reportlinker suggesting the global cloud computing market size is set to grow to $623 billion by 2023, this exponential rise is set to continue, and while those friendly onsite infrastructure staff aren’t set to disappear completely any time soon, the start of the new decade seems a good time to take stock and see what else the future might hold.
The Emergence of New Data Security Issues
One of the biggest concerns organisations have always had with cloud computing is the fact that they have to give up a certain degree of control, trusting the security and integrity of their data and applications to a third party.
While many would argue that your information is actually safer with a cloud provider, (as many operating fortress-like data centres with all the modern security bells and whistles you’d expect) there are organisations who are still not comfortable in ceding that control. At the start of the new decade businesses are still asking:
Who am I sharing the cloud space with?
What controls are in place to stop the network boundaries blurring?
How do I know exactly who is accessing my data and when?
Who has access to the back end of my applications?
Some might be happy to hand all of these concerns over to the cloud provider and live in blissful ignorance, but as organisations use applications and data for ever more intricate tasks, there will be demand for more detailed monitoring systems.
We can expect a rise in the number of cloud monitoring tools to the market to offset these concerns that used to be covered by an in-house team, tools that offer in depth management information such as:
Staff access and activity on applications.
Full audit trail of amendments to systems and data by the organisation’s own staff as well as those of the cloud provider.
Up to the minute monitoring of performance of applications.
Cyber security alerts.
Essentially, the more detail a tool offers, the more secure an organisation feels. We should expect to see companies take back a little more control of the cloud.
Cast your mind back to July 2019, we were told of a hack on Capital one data held on Amazon cloud servers affecting 106 million people. With confusion over who exactly was responsible (Capital One who controlled the permissions and access, or Amazon as the cloud host itself) the pending legal case should hopefully give greater clarity as well as prompting a beefed up response to security from cloud providers.
Private and Hybrid Cloud Solutions are Here to Stay but Multicloud is on the Rise
Related to the the security concerns noted above, expect hybrid cloud solutions to continue to dominate in 2020. Organisations who are not content with ceding full control of their applications over to a cloud provider will operate hybrid cloud solutions. The boardrooms of today are happy with a combination of onsite management as well as private and public cloud solutions.
Every hybrid solution can be tailored to the unique needs of a business. We’ll likely see a lot of companies maintaining control of their most valuable data in private clouds whilst looking for flexibility and scalability as required.
Conversely, we might also see those faster moving industries, such as the financial sector, embrace the Multi-cloud. According to research completed by the 451 Research Group, 60% of Financial Sector Businesses expect to switch to multi-cloud solutions over the next few years.
In an industry where timing and information are vital to making the best trades, the ability to mix and match your services and applications across multiple cloud providers means organisations can combine their strengths without having to be locked into one provider.
A New Generation of Tech Savvy Staff are Waiting in the Wings
Throughout the 2020s we’re going to see more and more of the digital generation graduating university and entering the workforce. These individuals have grown up with technology and are completely at home with smartphones, modern technology such as artificial intelligence and are used to always being connected.
They’re communicating in a way very different to every generation before. Trained in innovation as the subject matter of their three/four year university courses quickly become outdated before they’ve graduated due to the new innovations coming to market.
We may see large cloud companies steal away the best and brightest of the generation to directly apply their knowledge and enthusiasm to the explosion of cloud computing and security apprenticeships.
The need for cloud computing jobs is only going to grow over the next decade. The new generation will be there to add their own innovations to the industry.
Greater Adoption of Edge Computing
Whether you love or hate the buzz phrase “Internet of Things” that has sprung up over the last few years, there’s no denying an increasing number of devices are being developed with internet connectivity in mind, and this is where edge computing applies.
Consumers expect to complete tasks with minimal latency and with greater reliability. By building multiple, much smaller data centres at the “edge” of a network, companies are able to collect and analyse data locally and much more quickly.
This means we are likely to see the growth of mini data centres springing up all over the place, perhaps set up in derelict offices or old shipping containers
Whatever the future holds for cloud computing, we can be sure it’s going to be an interesting decade.