Just like any other area of technological innovation, cloud is a massive industry which has developed in ways few would predict a couple of years ago. As more individuals and enterprises embrace cloud technologies, the security and usability questions become a central focus of many providers. But consumer expectations aren’t the only factor shaping the state of cloud. Here are 10 key cloud trends to watch in 2016.
- The cloud will figure in Europe’s data legislation
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently invalidated the Safe Harbor Principles. This essentially means that any US company wanting to move user data across the Atlantic will need to declare their standards of data privacy. That’s why major cloud providers are bound to get more interested in the subject this year.
Most have already issued statements about their dedication to data privacy, but many still haven’t developed a dedicated infrastructure in Europe. For them, 2016 will be an important year. They’ll need to decide whether to continue their operation only in the US or commit to European data standards by taking part in the privacy debate.
- CloudOps is on the rise
CloudOps is sometimes called the new era of cloud computing. It focuses on issues ranging from security and management, to monitoring and governance. CloudOps ensures better stability and performance of cloud solutions by offering once place where developers can deploy and manage all their applications and infrastructure at scale. That’s one of the main reasons why cloud management will become simpler than ever.
- Cloud analytics will become more important
Given that keeping a close eye on cloud deployment generates costs, IT leaders will rely on smart analytics solutions that are available at all times. Even if cloud is deployed most often with cost reduction in mind, CIOs need to be able to tell whether this is really happening. Cloud analytics solutions will become more important than ever in bringing to light data about both usage and billing, giving leaders an opportunity to spot services that are too costly and act fast to prevent budget overruns. Best of all, these analytics will be available right on their mobile devices, helping them to control the cloud infrastructure from any place and at any time.
- Hybrid cloud strategies will be more accessible
Hybrid cloud technologies are not seen anymore as strategies for playing safe employed by those who never trusted cloud in the first place. Instead, they’re accepted as a path that might work for some organizations. That’s why in 2016, we’ll see lots of new services and solutions built to support this model.
Even if companies want to fully immerse themselves in the cloud, sometimes it’s simply impossible. There are compliance issues, legacy solutions and other factors to count in when leaving some of the IT infrastructure on premise. Companies which choose not to go entirely in the cloud aren’t today criticized for their approach – instead, they can choose from a growing number of hybrid solutions to match their needs.
This is not to say that the cloud momentum is gone – the ease in which providers adapt to new enterprise needs means that they’re confident in the continuing relevance of cloud solutions in the years to come.
- Containers will continue to grow
Containers are unstoppable today and this year they’ll become even more significant on the cloud scene. Why are they so popular? Basically, because they offer smart approach to building new distributed applications in the cloud and “containerizing” applications which are already running. Good thing is, containers really do live up to their expectations. Still, they miss some aspects like security or networking services. These are all matters that should be addressed before containers are fully enterprise-ready. In 2016, providers are bound to finally resolve the key limitations of the container technology.
- Hardware providers will design with cloud in mind
The giants in server or chip supplier industry had a hard time with the emergence of the cloud. With the scene controlled by cloud technologies, they’ll need to make serious gambles to remain relevant and strategic to the market. We’ve seen Dell merge with EMC and HP is about to split into two different companies. It’s clear that hardware world is going through some serious changes. But they’re still giants with fully equipped labs and innovation centers to help them creatively respond to this new challenge. In 2016, they’re bound to answer to cloud technologies in style.
- Mobile and cloud analytics will merge
We live in a world where all devices are connected to the internet and constantly pass data to each other. This data increasingly relies on cloud technologies. That’s why we can talk about mobile and cloud as one and the same thing. They both strive to quickly answer questions and communicate the results.
We increasingly rely on high capacity databases in the cloud to provide us with a stream of live data. Accessing it on mobile, we automatically render cloud analytics into mobile analytics. And the thing is, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference – at least not to executives whose work is just way easier thanks to constant access to key data. Cloud and mobile analytics easily work together as a unified solution, rendering any distinctions irrelevant in the process.
- Cloud training and certification
In 2016, training and certification will gain on importance. It’s clear that the field of cloud computing needs people who are well-trained to build, run and design cloud infrastructure. Since there aren’t enough professionals like that on the market, this gap will be addressed this year with new training programs and certifications to ensure the quality of such services.
We’ll see new companies focusing on cloud training come into being and providers will offer more certifications to ensure the high quality of their service. It’s quite possible that IT professionals who chose to disregard cloud will now find themselves attending cloud computing classes.
- Moving data to the cloud will be easier than ever
If 2015 was all about data prep solutions and self-service data integration, 2016 will be the year of simple methods that will help organizations to push internet and web platform data into the cloud data ecosystems. Solutions that made a buzz last year today offer a possibility for individuals without any technical background to efficiently move data into cloud. That’s why 2016 will favor solutions that largely simplify processes like data integration or transformation, focusing on the practicalities of businesses wanting to drop their data to preferred cloud databases.
- Stakeholders will be involved in cloud decisions
Finally, in 2016 stakeholders will participate in making decisions that involve cloud infrastructures. This study reveals that 250 senior IT and executives in the UK consider stakeholders already a part of that process. (http://www.uk.insight.com/en-gb/learn/articles/2015-07-cloud-trends-2016) The final approval for cloud adoption in the majority of enterprises is still a responsibility of the CIO or head of IT, but stakeholders are also involved in the process. This is something that will help companies adopt a more holistic approach with cloud adoption, ensuring that all departments benefit from the move.
This is going to be an interesting year for cloud technologies. They’ll become simpler, more widespread, better integrated with consumer needs and a firm part of any financial decision-making process in any growing enterprise.