By Imran Bashir, Ph.D.
Chief Technical Officer, Cloud Computing and
Vice President, Emerging Technologies
In January, I released a list of cloud predictions with my blog, CloudSight is 20/20: ECS 2020 Cloud Predictions. At the time, no one had any idea we were headed towards a global pandemic, which would shift the world to remote work and change the way we use the cloud. Now, after many months of COVID-19, I was curious to see how my predictions held up. Before we dive in, let’s look at what has changed in the cloud since the start of the year.
What has changed?
Since March, COVID-19 has shifted the way large organizations interact with their corporate IT systems. In the last five months, we have seen rapid cloud migrations as employees transitioned to work-from-home. This shift has caused 59 percent of organizations to expect cloud usage to exceed their pre-pandemic plans. Disruptions in hardware supply chains have also fast-tracked migrations from legacy data centers to the cloud.
While many organizations simply looked for ways to strengthen their existing cloud infrastructure to support remote work, others started at square one. Without a cloud strategy, employees can’t collaborate as efficiently, causing a reduction in productivity. Before the pandemic, these processes would have been planned and executed over a longer period of time, but COVID-19 has forced companies to accelerate their transitions to the cloud.
Updates on Predictions 11-20
11. Security considered at all levels
In the last year, we have seen a push towards DevSecOps. The rapid shift to remote work has only accelerated the need for integrated security at all levels.
13. Reskilling for cloud to fill the gap
According to Gartner, through 2022, insufficient cloud skills will delay cloud migrations by up to two years. Professional development is transitioning from taking a class to a full lifetime of constant learning.
15. Attention to community specific clouds
Industries no longer have to prove their need for a community cloud. For example, a demand for government-specific cloud space has been increasing, and (CSP) are responding in turn. Azure now has 79 government-specific cloud services.
17. IoT for smarter infrastructure
IoT has become a differentiator in the CSP market. According to market research, many factors are driving expansion in the market, such as proliferation of IoT devices, a need to increase operational efficiency, and rapidly decreasing cost of IoT-based sensors.
19. Redefined roles for enterprise cloud
There is now a broader focus on cloud security engineers, which will continue to move away from Cisco- or AWS-specific engineers.
12. Cloud right-sizing for effective designs
Along with cost optimizations, customers have been adjusting their virtual machine size to existing workloads. Now, customers don’t specify their virtual machine needs, but a clean slate from the provider’s recommendations.
14. Shift to serverless accelerates
COVID has mandated the need for quick cloud development and deployment. There has been no choice but to switch to serverless computing to meet businesses’ high-paced workload requirements.
16. Increase of workloads in public cloud
Public cloud spend is over budget by 23 percent, which figure is expected to increase 47 percent in the next few months.
18. Increase in cloud regions
AWS opened its Africa cloud region in April, with plans to open three more in Indonesia, Japan, and Spain.
20. Network agility: 5G is the next wave
It’s all about the edge. 5G has become imperative to connectivity for day-to-day collaboration during the pandemic, and business are implementing 5G as much as possible.