Cloud, Cloud, Cloud. These were the words that were making the headlines a few years ago! Are we over the moon yet? Is cloud completely demystified?
Lets take a moment to recollect
Cloud, a term initially coined by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) had been one of the widely spoken terms in the recent past. Cloud was one among many of the core strategies for several companies. There are a several set of benefits in using cloud where companies could concentrate on their core business instead of IT infrastructure and to leverage on the innovations happening in the world.
Over the years there had been a lot of concerns that were thrown about the issues on cloud – breaches, data leaks, cross border data transfer issues etc… Not to forget the Safeharbor treaty and the incident concerning the European wing of Microsoft was forced to share information from Europe by an US court.
Hence due to all these, the earlier part of the current decade was marked with several skepticism and pull back from a lot of companies. Atos Consulting (Cambridge as we called it in 2011) did a survey that indicated about 60% of the customers didn’t want to move into the cloud and most of them were afraid of losing control of the data or losing the data itself.
Status of Cloud market evolution as on today
Having said all that, “Cloud” marched on! And with pride and with lot of support. Amazon (AWS) is still the leader in offering cloud services with Microsoft Azure trying to catch up.
The traditional delivery model termed as a SPI (pronounced like Spy) model that stands for SAAS (Software as a service), PAAS (Platform as a service) and IAAS (Infrastructure as a service) got expanded in multiple dimensions – such as as Business Process as a service, Security as a service, Robotics as a service, etc…
The growth of cloud seems to be unstoppable and is now assuming a steady growth of around 20% per annum with the expected spending in 2018 to reach $160 Billion (source:IDC). This is not only for IAAS like AWS or Azure but also for thousands of startup companies that offer services in this space using AWS kind of infrastructure. This implies the opportunities not only for the cloud services companies but also for the consumer companies.
This article could be of interest if we want to understand the spend pattern.
What could be the future trend in the cloud landscape?
The trends based on the spend analysis from IDC gives us an idea of the cloud growth trend and in multiple areas, it is poised to a steady growth.
The SAAS adoption spend has increased from 15% to 25% since 2013 and the on-prem spend has decreased from 85% to 75% since 2013. More and more innovations depends on the cloud. The venture capitalist funding for cloud has grown by 400% in the last 6 years (source:Pitchbook).
Some of the future trends that could be in the landscape (based on BVP’s analysis + Gartner)* are as follows:
- Private cloud offerings will grow at a higher pace.
- Human resource management will happen more and more in the cloud and hence SAAS offerings in this domain could see higher growth rate.
- Blockchain could see its phenomenal growth in the next years and as per the nature of the distributed ledger, everything will be more or less in the cloud. The cloud companies offering Blockchain services will be on the rise.
- Big data processing will rely on cloud solutions more than the on-premise, mainly for the continuity, size and maintenance perspectives
- Internet of Things that uses or interacts with cloud services will be on the rise more than ever.
Challenges faced in the Industry
The cloud is always faced with several challenges that evolved over the period of time. In the initial phases, the challenges were for making people believe in the model and also to ensure the infrastructure, the networks and the latency in accessing the solutions/data. Over the past years all these challenges have been addressed by evolving technology and innovative solutions from the providers (at least the major ones).
However the following challenges currently remain to be addressed by the cloud companies.
- Cost challenges – Cloud usage is not as cheap as it was perceived and in certain scenarios it could be costlier than the on-premise options themselves.
- Consolidation of big companies that is grappling the industry which also makes people constantly migrate from one platform to another etc.,.
- Issue of vendor lock-in due to non-generic technologies – additional challenges in portability from one platform/infrastructure to another platform/infrastructure.
- External threat management – having lack of appropriate security policies or measures to protect the solution and the data stored in the cloud.
- Challenges in managing and addressing SLA, Availability and bandwidth issues.
- Legal concerns for smaller providers who uses big providers such as AWS for hosting their applications
- Cloud service provider also need to constant upgrade, upskill and update their security policies.
Organizations are already embracing cloud as a first choice and as part of their normal way of operations. It’s quite clear that the cloud is here to stay and will stay for a long time in a growing path. The evolution of the type of cloud, the providers, the technology and the ease of doing business and getting high level security could be all factors for cloud provisioning companies to be successful. Solving the above mentioned challenges will show the maturity and willingness of the cloud services companies that will give further motivation for the consumers for adapting cloud in a faster rate.
To answer the article’s question – Yes, Cloud is still fancied but not in the same way as several years ago as you can read through this article. There is no doubt that it has been demystified to a certain extent, but there is enough room to explore further!