2014: A Reflection
2014 has been a pivotal year in the enterprise tech world. Enterprise IT has begun to fully understand the cloud, and the development of a mutual understanding has grown. The cloud is, in turn, adjusting more and more to the features and traditional needs of enterprise IT.
My perspective on next year is guided mostly by experiences I had this year (2014) at the AWS re:Invent conference. This huge cloud festival was the platform from which AWS publicly introduced the cloud as a means for creating today’s enterprise data center. Whether for native cloud web-scale applications or for enterprises of all shapes and sizes, the cloud is considered to be today’s best way to increase efficiency as well as flexibility in any IT environment. It is important to note that market saturation is still not here, however it’s just a matter of time until the cloud is used by everyone, covering a significant portion of the world of IT.
Although Openstack’s great market development and the media claims that Azure will conquer the enterprise market, I want to note that everyone actually agrees that AWS cloud is the only real cloud in town (at least for now).
Looking Ahead: The Development Trinity of Cloud 2015
According to forecasters from IDC, IT buyers will actively channel 20% of their IT budgets through industry clouds to enable flexible collaboration, information sharing, and commerce, all by 2017. By that time, 35% of new applications will use cloud-enabled continuous delivery and DevOps lifecycles to roll out new features and business innovation even faster.
In my opinion, migration will take the lead in important developments in the hybrid cloud, again, in tandem with my predictions from 2014. Basically, I see cloud migration serve as the ultimate enabler for the hybrid cloud. Enterprises are now able to migrate their data to the Amazon cloud or to a private one, but it’s still an intermediate way for data to deploy on both sides. This is a clear indicator of why containers and numerous other new, sophisticated migration techniques are perceived as cloud enablers. They support migration to the public cloud and enable a hybrid solution, even in cases where their role is simply to start the migration process by leveraging the public cloud as a DR site.
Cloud Management Will Boom
The second important aspect of cloud development in the coming year is management. Since the cloud is being recognized by every IT operator in the world, all of whom are beginning to conform to this new environment, 2015 will evolve to the point of deliberately enhanced management. Management of this new environment, as I mentioned in multiple previous articles, is exceedingly different from other, traditional management work in the IT world. Due to the dynamic nature of this hyperscale virtual environment, cloud management is strategic, needs to be planned from the get go, and must be executed correctly.
Different aspects in which this manifests are, first and foremost, in cost management. It is naturally very important to be able to enjoy the basics of a cloud environment. As the cloud represents a new economic model, it’s important to be able to control and optimize its behavior without getting bogged down by traditional methods. In addition, and due to enterprise adoption, traditional management aspects such as availability, security and more are already addressed using new methods and services.
The Amazon ecosystem, for example, which is composed of many cloud management vendors, will—by my reasoning—hit its peak this year and be able to conduct great business with outside consumers. We will hear about up and coming IPOs, as well as the acquisition of hip new cloud management startups.
IT bloggers are familiar with DevOps as a concept and not as a profession. At the end of the day, however, in the modern world, people are looking to incorporate DevOps into their businesses, giving it automatic legitimacy as a new and evolving position. Companies that are migrating to the cloud, and that are therefore in the second phase of making their environment more efficient and maintainable, need the know how of creating an automatic environment in which integration, deployment and maintenance are in continuous motion.
The core aspect of DevOps is the capability of knowing the environment (AWS to be more precise), the different cloud building blocks, the integration methods and tools, and activation of DevOps’ flows in an automatic fashion.
Now that enterprises have recognized the cloud, the next step is DevOps. Traditional enterprises will be forced to develop and deliver applications with DevOps in mind. From now on, more automation is necessary, but the world is still dealing with a lack of appropriate skills in the workforce. Not many people have been trained yet to do what is required, due to the fast-developing nature of cloud technology, but 2015 will hopefully produce many more people who are able to take the cloud and make it work.
2015: An Introspection
Of course, there are plenty more developments to look forward to in 2015 than the trio that I have outlined in this post. Others deal with data growth—there are those, in fact, who predict this to be the year of analytics and intelligence. According to Gartner, for example, predictive and prescriptive analytics systems will support at least 50% of business analytics projects (source: Forbes). Others are discussing the rise of Microsoft, Oracle, EMC and VMWare over that of Amazon, closing up the market gap between the corporations. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, my opinion is that Amazon is still the leading pioneer in cloud technology, and will remain so at least for the coming year.
Evaluating between the lines of statistics and looking at the overall progression of the cloud thus far, the market has evolved from recognizing the need for cloud technology to employing cloud technology on a regular basis. This, in and of itself, is a paramount turn of events in cloud computing.
Having now added my 2015 cloud predictions to the mix of data spreading rapidly throughout the cloud, I will conclude and wish us all a great year. May Amazon cloud, in my deference to them as the number one cloud provider, continue on their already established path and lead us through a series of even more successful cloud developments in 2015.
Happy New Year!