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2018 cloud trends that will affect your business

Cloud computing has multiplied its market size many times over in the past decade and continues to be strong. It’s truly rare for a technological force to witness such sustainable success. Well, unless it has to do with the “Transformers” franchise or the new “Star Trek” franchise. The former is five-for-five, the latter is three-for-three. As for the cloud, an early look at 2018 cloud trends shows the explosive growth is not anywhere near ending

This has been possible because of the foundational and expansive nature of cloud computing technologies and the business focus of the cloud-based services. Cisco’s Global Cloud Index Forecast report predicted strong growth in cloud computing through 2015–2020, and just like it’s been true in the past, it stands to turn out true for the new year, too.

Cloud datacenters, hybrid cloud, the various cloud-based solutions and services models, and the extension of cloud computing to include edge computing — all drove growth in this space in 2017. In this guide, we’ll tell you more about the 2018 cloud trends you’re likely to see. Read on.

Cloud computing as an empowering force for enterprise IoT

Various tech consultancies have predicted that the number of IoT devices by the end of 2020 will be something in excess of 20 billion! The Internet of Things ecosystem is already heavily dependent on cloud-based solutions for data exchange, which drives IoT applications.

To store the massive amount of data generated by IoT devices, companies will need to expand their cloud-based data storage resources. Even at a personal level, people will need to start using cloud-based data storage to accommodate data from their personal IoT devices. Development platforms for IoT technologies will also be made available through cloud-based subscription models.

Plus, it’s been well documented how IoT systems will work using a hybrid of edge computing (data processing done as close to the sensors producing the data) for low-latency applications, and centralized cloud computing for more routine applications. Also, there are innumerable other indirect implications and requirements of IoT that make cloud computing a central pillar of the palace called IoT.

The next-gen Internet

Though SMBs and enterprises have embraced cloud computing in every way possible, there is still a lot of untapped market for cloud computing vendors.

One of the challenges in reaching out to these markets, many of them are in developing nations, is that the quality and speed of Internet services in these regions are not that sufficient. However, one of the major 2018 cloud trends will witness milestone improvements in the state of the Internet, which will power another surge of cloud computing adoption in all markets.

Qualcomm Snapdragon, from a hardware perspective, is at the forefront of making faster Internet a reality for devices. Plus, full 5G networks are likely to become a reality in 2018, at least in developed nations. In lesser markets, 4G is likely to become inexpensively available, which will be a tremendous motivator for startup and small businesses to move over to cloud-based services.
How many people will be on Twitter then!?

More space availability on-cloud will drive big analytics adoption

Storage capacity is one of the major 2018 cloud trends that will affect you directly. Cisco has predicted that the amount of storage capacity available on the cloud will increase significantly by the end of 2018. The estimated size is 1.1 zettabytes; that’s twice the amount of space available in 2017. As datacenters make their moves to increase space availability, businesses will have one more reason to use the inexpensive cloud-hosted data storage space to store all kinds of business data.

Also, this will make many businesses relevant for the Big Data and analytics market. Not only will data storage and Big Data become inexpensive for businesses, the scope and expanse will improve because of the massive space availability.

More secure cloud

Looking back at 2017 will always bring bitter memories for IT companies as well as businesses — that’s because of the cyberattacks that impacted critical cloud infrastructures, and hence, impacted millions of computers, end users, entrepreneurs, and Internet users. Ransomware has become one of the biggest concerns for businesses as well as for personal Internet users. There was an amazing episode in “The Good Wife” in season 6 that depicted a Russian ransomware instigator — it was awesome when Kalinda outsmarted him at the end, though! Cybersecurity analysts will need to up their game to foil more attempts by individual and agency hackers. This is, unfortunately, one of the 2018 cloud trends that can affect your business in a bad way. Unless you hire yourselves a Kalinda!

Cybersecurity will drive adoption of the following technologies and solutions, with a focus on securing cloud systems. These 2018 cloud trends bear watching:

  • Security information and event management (SIEM).
  • Malware detection.
  • Anti-ransomware technologies.
  • Security-as-a-Service solutions.

AI and ML — pushing cloud sophistication a notch above

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will be huge factors determining cloud computing's growth in 2018. All tech giants, namely Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and IBM, made news in 2017 for investing heavily in AI- and ML-based cloud computing systems.

IBM, for instance, launched its AI-powered cloud-based platform that helps with business decision making, and Microsoft Azure steadily increased the size of its cloud services basket. Whereas AI and ML are still considered in their infancy, they're mature enough to start delivering enterprise-level benefits in their cloud-focused applications.

Small businesses will hop on to the hybrid cloud bandwagons

There’s hardly a doubt, hybrid cloud ecosystems are the way forward, for both enterprises as well as small businesses. The scalability of public cloud and the control of on-premises private cloud — that’s the best of both worlds, and that’s what hybrid cloud infrastructures are all about. 2018 will be the year when even small businesses start realizing the value of adopting the hybrid approach of cloud adoption.

Up until now, integration of public and private cloud systems has been a challenging affair for small businesses, which is why the move to hybrid systems have been slow (about as slow as Napoleon Dynamite drawing a picture of a liger — he did not have too much else going on for him!). However, in 2017, cloud computing vendors worked on solving these integration problems, meaning small businesses jumping on to the hybrid bandwagon will be one of the biggest 2018 cloud trends.

We’re only in the first quarter of the new year, and business executives and IT wizards in the pioneering organizations of the world are already planning how they can align their IT investments for this year and beyond with their business goals. This guide on 2018 cloud trends can help you do the same.