Are you interested in the world of cloud computing? If that’s the case, or if you’re considering investing in it, here are some cloud computing trends for this year:
It is becoming evident for many businesses that having third-party cloud computing services is a very appealing alternative to having back-room data centers and endless network cables onsite that need to grow in physical space and complexity in order for expansion to take place. Cloud services allow for affordable scalability, mobility, and flexibility of operations.
While many people are familiar with the original cloud service models defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Software as a Service (SaaS); Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), more and more similar terms are popping up. However, according to a cloud service delivery model forecast done by Cisco, SaaS solutions have been, and will continue to be the most highly deployed cloud solutions globally in the public and private cloud.
The forecast states that SaaS made up 71% of the total cloud workloads and compute instances, and will increase to 75% by 2021. PaaS will experience a 1% increase in its cloud workloads and compute instances share from 2016 bringing it to 9% in 2021.
Keeping in mind that these forecasts account for an overall increase in installed workloads and compute instances by millions each year, the figures are an amazing testimony to the fact that 2018 will continue to be a year of growth for cloud computing services.
As the growth in cloud services steadily picks up its pace, businesses are strategizing the best solutions to meet their needs. Often, the answer is not simple, which is why many businesses are opting for hybrid or multi-cloud solutions.
Hybrid cloud strategies, which allow a business to operate in a combination of cloud infrastructures – such as the public private cloud – in conjunction, and multi-cloud strategies, which allow for a business to use different service providers for different solutions within one cloud infrastructure, are attractive to businesses for various reasons.
Businesses may wish to avoid being dependent one cloud service provider; they may want to maintain a level of control and strict security over some business functions while allowing other functions to be managed by cloud service providers; or they may wish to transition slowly to the cloud.
Cloud service providers are accepting this inclination and responding to customers’ varying cloud needs. A press release by 451 Research estimates that by 2019 69% of enterprises will have multi-cloud/hybrid environments.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a steadily growing into a huge network of devices which share and analyze data over the cloud and extract meaningful information that can be used in a wide variety of innovative ways – for example, smart thermostats sending message to a business when the data center exceeds a particular temperature; smart health sensors sending a message to a healthcare provider when a patient has fallen and cannot get up; and traffic cameras sending messages to drivers when there are obstructions on particular routes.
Connected cars, smart household appliances, smart watches, and smart home systems will proliferate, driven and supported by innovations in the world of cloud computing and data analytics.
Another exciting trend that is growing in 2018 is the marriage between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud computing. Both AI and cloud computing are relying on each other to grow, with incredible benefits to users.
Major industry leaders are pumping resources into this relationship by providing AI tools. Virtual assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana can trawl through the cloud delivering speedy and polite answers to questions. Chatbots can provide life-changing assistance with tracking and managing personal finances, as well as almost life-changing assistance with choosing a reasonably priced restaurant within 4 miles for dinner.
No matter how businesses and consumers choose to interact with AI and the Internet of Everything (IoE), the results have the potential to be life-changing.
Many of us would remember when the “E” for “EDGE” in the top left corner of our mobile devices was replaced by “2G”. We envisioned that we would never have to see the word “buffering” again, and that we would download files in the blink of an eye.
Well, not quite, but network providers have certainly been striving to provide better and faster connections ever since. 2018 will not disappoint. We will continue to see faster network speeds, and more competition among network providers, to the benefit of the consumer. As such, the insatiable consumer can expect services and apps to become more responsive.
As with the roll out of 4G LTE, it may take time for 5G to be widely commercially available and it will have its teething problems such as spotty coverage. However, closer to the end of this year we should begin to see Enhanced Mobile Broadband (EMBB) driven by 5G.
EMBB will allow service providers to offer 4K Ultra HD streaming, virtual and augmented reality, and better smart home and office applications. The IoT and IoE industries will also benefit from faster network speeds being able to provide more efficient, real-time data movement.
A demo unit of the Samsung Home Modem for Verizon’s 5G service, which won the Best Home Technology prize at the Mobile World Congress 2017, was able to reach speeds of up to 4 gigabits per second. That translates to 500 MB per second – that would mean downloading version 2.18.41 of WhatsApp in 0.2 seconds, or a 100 GB 4K movie in 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
According to the Speedtest Global Index of February 2018, the current average mobile download speed globally is 22.16 megabits per second (2.77 MB per second – about 38 seconds for WhatsApp to download) and the average fixed broadband speed is of 42.71 megabits per second (5.34 MB per second – 5 hours 12 minutes for that 4K movie).
The Samsung router was tested in ideal circumstances with no obstructions and nothing competing for network usage but the facts still show that 5G will be excitingly fast – a nail in the coffin for the word “buffering”.
The word Facebook is currently more likely to bring to mind the words “data breach”, “scandal” and “delete” than “likes” and “friends”. Sadly, the case of millions of people’s private data being exploited without authorization for advertising targeting or otherwise is not unique to Facebook.
Huge data breaches also occurred in 2017. Examples of such attacks include the Equifax and Uber data breaches, as well as the WannaCry ransomware attack in which Microsoft Windows users’ files were encrypted and victims had to pay a certain amount in bitcoin to release their files.
Thankfully, there are various types of security tips and services that are already available, and these will continue to increase. Security solutions include automated solutions which make use of machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning to predict cyberattacks and reinforce security.
In addition to fundamental and widely known security measures such as performing due diligence, controlling access to system using good identity and access management system, regular backups, and two-factor authentication businesses can also take advantage of an increase in dedicated cloud security service provides as well as malware detection systems and security information and event management (SIEM) tools.
Cloud computing is providing exciting, practical, and even futuristic solutions to businesses and consumers in more flexible, affordable, and secure ways than ever. What do you think will stay trending in 2018 and beyond?
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About the author
Lusanda Mlilo is an Edgeware ERP and CRM financial accounting consultant for the Sage Financials and Salesforce solutions. She is a technical writer on the topics of Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, and Sage Financials.