With the growth in big data platforms and Internet of things (IoT) devices, the amount of data generated and collected has also increased. Information today is no longer localized to machines and can instead be accessed from any location with the Internet connectivity. In this background, cloud computing technology will become more and more important in the following years. Each year brings new changes to the cloud landscape, and 2018 will be no different. Here are nine major cloud computing trends that will dominate industries in 2018.
Exponential Growth in Cloud Services
According to Forrester, more than half of all global enterprises will depend on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation. It is estimated that the total global public cloud market will be worth US$178 billion in 2018, up from US$146 billion in 2017, and will continue to grow at a CAGR of 22%.
Software as a Service (SaaS) has opened an adaptable and financially convenient gateway for businesses and consumers to pursue early cloud services. The growth of infrastructure and platform as a service (Iaas and PaaS, respectively) has expanded the domain of cloud solutions available in both the public and private sectors. In 2018, it is expected that many more businesses will take advantage of the simplicity and high-performance the cloud offers.
Increased Storage Capacity
As cloud services are increasingly becoming a part of daily operations, data storage capacity is expected to grow rapidly in 2018. To accomplish this, service providers will bring more and more data centers online with greater capacity storage equipment. Cisco survey estimates that the total amount of data stored in data centers would grow in 2018 to an estimated total storage capacity of 1.1 zettabytes (ZB), which is approximate twice the space available in 2017.
Advanced businesses will be able to take advantage of that space to optimise their objectives. It will help in lowering costs by providing more space for data storage. Businesses that work with big data will be greatly facilitated as this increased space can be used to store large datasets and perform analytics on them to derive insights.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) in the Forefront
Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence have played an extensive role in the tech community this year. It is anticipated that IoT will grow exponentially with increase in connected devices. Moreover, continuous innovations in real-time data analytics and cloud computing are set to push the internet of everything (IoE) to the forefront in 2018. Cloud computing will play a significant role as the IoE develops into complex systems aimed at simplifying all interactions. It is estimated that by 2020, IoT technology will be embedded in 95% of electronics for new product designs. So, with this, the significance of cloud technology is also deemed to increase.
Improved Connectivity with 5G
The handheld devices industry is witnessing an unprecedented diversity of applications and services both in consumer as well as enterprises markets. The rise in the use of connected devices represented by advanced smartphones and tablets calls for superfast internet network.
Many operators have already accelerated the preparation of the 5G connectivity. Qualcomm Snapdragon is leading the move to enhance network speed significantly and we would soon see connecting our smart devices with 5G network in 2018.
Focus on Cloud Security
The year 2017 has witnessed more cyber-attacks than any other year in history. Attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware, the Equifax data breach are reminders that cyber-attacks are a reality of the 21st century.
In 2018, we might see more individual attacks aimed at undermining the security of cloud infrastructures. As cyber attackers become more developed and sophisticated, security in public and private sectors will also have to become more sophisticated and timely to combat attacks. Businesses will recognize the necessity of investing in security tools like security information and event management (SIEM) and malware detection systems as fundamental defense mechanisms for cybersecurity. Cloud services can play an important role here as well.
Hybrid Cloud Adoption
Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment which is composed of two or more clouds that remain distinct entities but are bound together. Thus, it can offer the benefits of multiple deployment models.
For businesses that have traditionally handled the vast majority of processes via a localized network over many years, moving absolutely every operation to the cloud isn’t always a feasible option. Sticking with an outdated approach will also hold the businesses back. With this, the hybrid cloud technology is likely to grow significantly in 2018. This approach essentially combines the best of both worlds, allowing for on-premises management of operations along with the convenience and rapid response times of cloud technology.
The Rise of Edge Computing
Performing data processing at the edge of the network to optimise cloud computing is going to be pervasive in 2018. The rapid development of mobile internet and IoT applications gives a lot of pressure on the traditional centralized cloud computing architecture. As a result, centralized cloud computing faces challenges such as high latency, low spectral efficiency (SE), and non-adaptive communication.
Edge computing shifts the function of centralized cloud computing to the edge devices of the network. It processes the data locally thereby reducing the backhaul traffic to the central repository. Cisco estimates that the number of devices connected to the IoT will reach 50 billion by 2020. So, an advanced cloud computing architecture that breaks through the centralized architecture will be required to address the current challenges.
AI and ML to go Mainstream
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have the potential to further streamline the immense capabilities of cloud computing. Most AI and ML algorithms need huge amounts of data and computing power. For this reason, the fusion of both these technologies with the cloud complement each other. Cloud computing can help provide AI and ML with the data which they need to learn, while the latter can provide more information to the cloud.
Amazon became the first public cloud provider to blend AI with cloud storage to help customers secure data in 2017. The trend is going to become common with cloud presenting a unique opportunity to companies utilizing AI and ML to explore the endless possibilities for future.
Less dependence on IT Infrastructure
The cloud has made interfacing with technology easier than ever. Thus, many departments such as human resources, sales and marketing are now able to operate on their own, independent of the IT department. So, the reliance on IT professionals throughout a given workday will diminish significantly in 2018.
We see the growing dominance of cloud application development platforms and their widespread adoption and role in new business models across industries. The technology is creating business opportunities different from the present and a major transformation in all the sectors is required to cope up with it. In 2018, we will see many more radical changes in cloud computing. Evidently, the four huge tech firms Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Intel have already revealed stellar earnings for September quarter, showing the growing weight on the transformation to cloud business. The same will be acknowledged by other firms with the power of cloud in the times ahead.