Still soaring: Cloud computing trends for 2018

All signs point toward the continued growth of cloud computing, but what cloud computing trends or changes are we expecting to see in 2018? While it can sometimes be hard to predict, many cloud computing providers have already announced new changes they are planning or have already rolled out. Additionally, businesses and corporations have made their voices heard to understand what they want from cloud computing trends in 2018.

If we look at the monetary predictions, Forrester sees public cloud platforms, business services, and applications reaching $236 billion, with the cloud application market growing even faster. IDC also sees cloud-based spending being at least half of the IT spending in 2018, reaching 60-70 percent of all software, services, and technology spending by 2020.

As businesses look more and more toward this technology, let’s take a look at the cloud computing trends that they should expect to see in the coming year.

Clear path to the cloud

Cloud Computing Trends

There are many different cloud services offered today, and while companies all heard the benefits of making the switch, some didn’t see enough of a benefit to actually make the move.

Moving on-premises solutions to the cloud sometimes only provided small cost benefits, which, coupled with the extra training that these new solutions required, didn’t give a clear enough reason or way to switch to the cloud.

However, as businesses are more aware of the potential savings and other benefits cloud computing can give them, 2018 will certainly bring a more cloud-native approach. This approach focuses mainly on Software as a Service, with SaaS spending taking 56 percent of cloud spending in 2018 (about $70 billion).

Decentralized IT environments and increased automation are already becoming more accepted, but companies of 2018 won’t have to worry so much about negative outcomes of these features, such as lower security, increased outages, or duplicated spending, as software is being created or updated to counteract these downfalls, as well as to protect against user error.

Both increased awareness of cloud benefits and more support and features from cloud computing companies will help those in 2018 have a clear path to the cloud.

Be prepared for more Internet of Things

Almost all Internet of Things devices connect to the cloud to function, communicate, and store information. These include cars, watches, and even appliances, and the devices and cloud have a symbiotic relationship. As the cloud grows and allows for more storage and features, more IoT devices will connect. At the same time, as more IoT devices connect, the cloud will gain more customers, data, and funding.

While IoT has greatly grown this past year, it’s expected to get even larger in 2018. This is also suggested to push a move toward the Internet of Everything (IoE), encompassing more than just physical devices like the IoT.

While many consider these to be the same, they’re actually quite different. With increased cloud computing and data processing abilities, IoE will help connect people to other people and to their environment.

The ultimate goal is to make everything easier for humans, from speaking different languages to finding you the product you’re looking for. However, many are worried about the possible privacy implications of having the IoE powered by an expanded cloud network that heavily records and processes our data.

Gartner believes that IoT devices will reach at least 20 billion by 2020, meaning that the cloud will continue to grow with it in response.

More cloud services

Cloud computing trends in 2018 point toward, unsurprisingly, many more cloud service solutions being offered. Software as a Service (SaaS) helps businesses move to the cloud and understand cloud services, going hand in hand with a clearer path to the cloud that will become apparent. However, this isn’t the only service that is expected to expand.

We already see higher solutions of both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) available in both the private and public sectors, meaning that cloud computing trends in 2018 will see both an increase in the number of services offered and the companies taking advantage of them.

We already know that SaaS solutions will be the majority of the future solutions offered, but according to a Cisco cloud services survey from 2016, both PaaS and IaaS solutions are set to increase more in 2018. In fact, KPMG shows that PaaS “adoption is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms — growing from 32 percent in 2017 to 56 percent adoption in 2020.”

The increase of these services means that companies will be able to more quickly and effortlessly be able to integrate the cloud into their businesses.

Increase of hybrid cloud solutions

Cloud Computing Trends

In addition to the increase of services, cloud computing trends of 2018 show that hybrid cloud solutions are greatly increasing.

Vendor lock-in is something that many businesses try to avoid, so many more companies are offering more possibilities to work with multiple cloud providers. While this may not be in the best interest of the cloud provider that could have you locked into its products, customers have clearly demonstrated their preference, and the available options have followed the market.

Additionally, many businesses, particularly those that are very large and have established on-premises solutions, want to keep some control locally within their own servers. Companies choose to keep on-premises solutions for many different reasons, from not wanting to waste money on legacy hardware to having industry-specific requirements to keep information off the cloud.

However, they still wish to take advantage of many cloud services, even if they don’t want to fully move everything to the cloud. Because of these reasons, cloud computing trends point towards many more available hybrid cloud solutions in 2018.

More storage in the cloud

As people and businesses more heavily utilize cloud storage and process more data than ever before, providers are working to make sure that they have the available capacity. Data storage is expected to grow in 2018, according to the Cisco survey by “an estimated total storage capacity of 1.1ZB, which is approximately twice the space available in 2017.”

As data storage capacity grows, businesses will more often utilize big data to advance their business goals, such as performing analytics on large datasets, and to have many low-cost storage options.

Of course, these are not all of the possible cloud computing trends for 2018, but they are some of the most important. Who knows where cloud computing will really take us this year, let alone 10, 20, or 50 years down the line?

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