As a new year gets up to speed, providers and enterprises the world over are continuing to embrace the possibilities of cloud computing. The flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness of running Big Data workloads and more in the cloud are revolutionising business IT practices everywhere.
In this blog, we’ll highlight some of the opportunities and challenges that the growth of cloud will bring over the next 12 months. The most successful and forward-thinking of service providers like you will take steps to make the most of them, while making sure that your clients’ data remain protected and secure.
Cloud adoption will become (nearly) universal
As we near the end of the decade, we are very close to a point where enterprises that don’t run their workloads in the cloud is the exception rather than the norm. A recent survey has found that 83% of all enterprise workloads will be run in the cloud by 2020.
Interestingly, these workloads will be spread across a variety of different set-ups. Public, private and hybrid cloud platforms will all attract good numbers of workloads, depending on the needs of the individual enterprise. From a service provider perspective, this points to a healthy, open marketplace where adaptability and personalisation of platforms and infrastructures will have the greatest appeal to clients.
Service offerings will experience huge growth
According to a report released at the start of January, the global cloud market is now worth nearly €150billion annually. Fuelling this value is a 47 per cent rise in infrastructure- or platform-as-a-service (IaaS/PaaS) offerings, and a 30 per cent gain for hosted private cloud service providers.
And for service providers, what’s even more exciting is that this expansion is expected to continue over the coming years, yielding more and more business opportunities. As John Dinsdale, chief analyst of research house Synergy, puts it: “Cloud technologies are now generating massive revenues for cloud service providers and technology vendors, and we forecast that current market growth rates will decline only slowly over the next five years.”
The human expertise shortage will widen
This boom in cloud technology is not without its challenges, and principal amongst them is a severe deficit in IT experts available to maximise the potential of cloud. A recent report has found that 71 per cent of IT decision-makers within enterprises feel their organisations are losing revenue because they lack human know-how on their staff.
This isn’t a problem that’s going to be resolved any time soon, so as a service provider, it’s up to you to step up to the plate. Automation, alongside personalised and comprehensive solutions, can offer enterprise clients a neat way around their cloud brainpower shortage and expand their possibilities beyond their human limitations.
Ransomware will turn its attention to the cloud
As enterprises increasingly place large amounts of data – and faith – in the hands of service providers like you, security becomes an even greater concern. This is especially so in the current era of ransomware, with MIT suggesting that cybercriminals will use machine learning and other innovations this year to specifically target cloud services with ransomware.
For you as a provider, cloud security goes beyond keeping security provisions as robust and up-to-date as possible. Just as important is the client’s perception: if they don’t feel that you’re demonstrating to them that their data is fully secure, then they’ll be far more likely to take their business to a competitor instead.
Artificial intelligence as a service will gain traction
We’re heading towards an IT world where virtually all applications will be hosted in the cloud as well as all our data. This will mean that even the most leading-edge functions and innovations, including cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI), can be provided to enterprises as-a-service.
This will form part of a concerted effort by forward-thinking SaaS providers to stay one step ahead of the game, with analysts at Gartner suggesting that the market for more basic, introductory SaaS offerings is reaching maturity. When the vast majority of enterprises have already adopted SaaS solutions, the pressure will be on providers like you to innovate your solutions.
The key takeaway
Ultimately, the cloud represents the most exciting and potentially lucrative area of development for service providers in 2018. And there are countless enterprises looking for a provider like you to help them get the infrastructure and solution they need to succeed in the modern business world. But in a highly competitive marketplace and with security still high on the agenda, it’s the providers that can cover every base and create solutions rich in innovation that will be best-placed for success.
You can help your enterprise clients maximise the possibilities of the cloud and start driving profits straight away when you partner with IBM.