The digital age is here and while some companies have embraced it, others are still in the process of becoming digital-ready. Most businesses have understood the need to adopt cloud computing technologies or a “cloud-first” approach. This is because of the many advantages which cloud computing offers to businesses. The most important benefits are scalable infrastructure, high-level competency, cost savings, agility and business continuity and the ability to manage huge volumes of data. So, a business strategy today cannot afford to overlook the importance of cloud computing. But enterprises which are shifting to the cloud will also need to have a proper strategy in place. And to have this strategy, entrepreneurs need to get an idea of the key cloud computing trends of the 21st century and how these can affect their businesses.
Trends in cloud computing for 21st Century:
Research by Gartner suggests that the main trends which will affect businesses in the near future are multi clouds which are likely to become the defacto standard rather than a single cloud adoption and development of cloud strategies. So, organizations will be adopting the cloud so as to implement frameworks that can help them create centers of excellence. This will allow them to deliver services more efficiently, make optimum use of the infrastructure and get an edge over competitors.
According to reports by Gartner, by the end of this year, nearly 50% of applications which are deployed in public clouds will be regarded as mission critical by businesses that own these. So, businesses will be moving their workloads to public clouds much faster to support mission-critical tasks. Likewise, the reports suggest that by the end of this decade, the cloud strategies will affect more than 50% of IT deals. With more adoption of clouds, there will more outsourcing or IT services since not all businesses have skilled technical staff to handle different aspects of cloud computing. Outsourcing will guarantee faster deployments, cost-effective migrations and expert support.
Another important trend will be the emergence of multi cloud strategies rather than adoption of a single cloud. The cloud computing market is highly competitive because there are innovative offerings from various providers. So, businesses will typically choose a provider which is suited best for a specific application and choose another provider for another application. With time therefore, businesses have understood that migration to a single vendor will be risky. There may service unavailability issues and vendor lock-in concerns. So, businesses prefer an ecosystem in which there are many vendors so as to get benefits of multi cloud solutions.
Another important trend that Gartner points out is that most businesses will start to reside in a hybrid environment. So, it is expected that there is going to be a key shift from a traditional data center to a hybrid environment. With growing demands for flexibility and agility, businesses will look out for customized options. In short, companies which will adopt a hybrid cloud will be able to increase their efficiency and save money. The hybrid model will be accepted as the defacto structure and this will help businesses go beyond traditional data centers and take advantage of cloud solutions across various platforms.
What will be planning considerations for the companies in the future?
• Businesses will first have to adopt a cloud strategy to increase long term profitability. They will need to create a road map so as to optimize workloads. Accordingly they must prepare their staff and equip them with tools and processes through proper building and planning strategies. While the public cloud is the more popular choice for new workloads, you need to consider SaaS for the non-mission critical tasks, IaaS for on-site workloads and PaaS for apps to be built either in-house or for open source services.
• Businesses must appoint a cloud architect. This individual will be directing the team and look into changes in the organization structure in different areas.
• It is important to deploy governance procedures in each cloud platform because if there are lapses in defining and implementing policies, it could lead to loss of data and breaches.
• It is important for businesses to plan a multi vendor strategy. They must evaluate and integrate with multiple providers.
• Businesses must invest in a hybrid structure. This hybrid model will help businesses to adopt cloud services properly. There should be a proper strategy for integrating security, networking and services from different cloud service providers. Using cloud managed services businesses can improve their IT management power.
• Finally, businesses will have to re-evaluate their data protection plans by creating a data protection infrastructure. This will be designed not simply to eliminate risks but also to guarantee seamless data availability as requested by end users.
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