Saturday, December 29, 2018

2019 Cloud services predictions

Cloud services
Now that the year 2018 is coming to an end, I think the time has come to make some predictions of what 2019 will bring to the Cloud Services business.
Apart from my own knowledge of Cloud environments, this has been mainly an exercise of research, understanding current trends and projecting them to the future, analysis and digest of a lot of information of what other experts have to say in the cloud business.

The following is nothing more than an educated guess of what the future will bring. This post will remain here for us to check in the future. Only time will tell if I was right or wrong.

Multi-cloud, multi-site and geo-distributed clouds

To put it simply, public cloud isn't right for all workloads. It's not the magic bullet some evangelists predicted it would be, but it isn't going away either, and it will continue to grow, but will be steadily augmented, extended and expanded with complimentary technologies, platforms, and stacks.

Issues of performance, compliance, data gravity, locality, security and sovereignty will continue to drive organizations to a mix of clouds - some to edge clouds close to the data and users, others to regional on-premise private cloud infrastructures, and still others to global public clouds- each cloud or mix of clouds chosen based on their particular features, costs, and benefits.

In short, the world is moving irrevocably toward a multi-cloud, multi-site, geo-distributed model. Many customers will continue to use multiple vendors and most will have a mix of on-premise and off-premise infrastructure. Some companies, including some public cloud vendors, know this and are doing a good job of integrating on-premise infrastructure. Companies are going to be challenged to cope with the complexity of a multi-site, multi-cloud world and there will be opportunities for security vendors who can help them streamline security operations.

Azure's hybrid strategy keeps gaining momentum

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google entered the cloud market with no legacy and a sales pitch of a pure cloud play. Microsoft, on the other hand, had a huge legacy software installed base and pitched hybrid cloud, striking a balance between cloud and on-premises systems. It enabled Microsoft to rocket to the number two position in the cloud market very quickly.

Don’t expect AWS to go away, as it is still growing faster than all other cloud providers combined. However among the MSPs (Managed Service Providers), over the last three years Azure growth has skyrocketed, from 47% to 67%. This will grow even more next year and can be attributed to two major factors: relationships and product familiarity. Some MSPs have been working with Microsoft for 15 years, and have their sales rep on speed dial. Starting over with AWS or Google Cloud Platform is a daunting endeavor. Also, Microsoft is making it easy to move on-premises applications to Azure. Microsoft is not just building the infrastructure for MSPs to use, but they are also building the apps and services on top of that, making the transition to the cloud that much easier. Microsoft owns the MSP market and growth will continue in 2019.

Cloud vendor consolidation

According to Gartner, by 2022, the top 4 cloud "mega platforms" will host 80% of IaaS/PaaS deployments, but by 2024, 90% of Global 1000 organizations will mitigate lock-in through multi-cloud/hybrid technologies and tools from an integrated IaaS and platform as a service (PaaS) provider, and will use both the IaaS and PaaS capabilities from that provider.

IaaS-only cloud providers will continue to exist in the future, but only as niche players, as organizations will demand offerings with more breadth and depth for their hybrid environments. Already, strategic initiatives such as digital transformation projects resulting in the adoption of multicloud and hybrid cloud fuel the growth of the IaaS market.

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