The overall footprint of Cloud Computing Solutions is constantly on the rise. More and more companies are adopting cloud based solutions in pursuit of flexibility, efficiency and data centrality. As the cloud industry is still experiencing strong growth, the market is yet to fully mature.
Cloud based offerings are also constantly evolving to the diverse needs of solution employing entities. The two most centric issues that dominated the cloud landscape over this year were cloud security and customization of the offered cloud solutions.
Let’s discuss some of the major trends of the year 2019 and in light of those events, chalk out a sketch of how 2020 would look like for the Cloud Computing Industry.
How 2019 Fared for Cloud Heavyweights?
The major players in the cloud landscape did not change much. dinCloud, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba remained the dominant players with the lion’s share held by the first two. Interestingly, Alibaba managed to inch ahead of Google in terms of revenue generated from the cloud.
The better performance of Alibaba was largely attributable to the sheer size of the Chinese cloud market, in which the company has a large footprint. Two other notable tech companies, IBM and Oracle could not make a mark in the cloud industry, despite a strong background and decent investment.
The lackluster performance of IBM and Oracle was also due to their inability to match the pricing of the already well-established heavyweights namely Amazon and Microsoft. Even otherwise, both IBM and Oracle were stepping out of their respective comfort zones to pose a threat to the cloud market leaders.
IBM’s area of strength is modernizing and optimizing core business applications that various entities use to get their work done efficiently. Scaling back from the cloud solutions market, IBM is highly likely to revert to helping other organizations modernize and optimize their productivity applications.
On the other hand, Oracle’s strength is enterprise software that are tailored to the unique needs of each individual organization. Going forward, Oracle is also quite likely to scale back its cloud computing footprint and focus more on Software as a Service – SaaS.
Given the above scenario, it seems quite unlikely that any new major player will be entering the public cloud market in a big way. A major chunk of the public cloud revenue, estimated at about 75%, will be scooped up by cloud’s big names that include Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba and Google.
SaaS Providers Exit Proprietary Platforms
As the cloud market is heavily dominated by the big players, there was little to no room for SaaS providers to push their cloud solutions alongside their proprietary enterprise solutions. Smaller SaaS providers lacked the requisite support infrastructures to cater the cloud computing needs of most organizations.
One more issue that was often faced by SaaS providers was that even if an organization went for a different software solution and a different Cloud Service Provider (CSP), this gave rise to compatibility issues. At the end of day, the SaaS provider had to integrate its enterprise solution with the cloud solution.
Due to this rising trend and a host of problems, SaaS providers are now collaborating more and more with CSPs directly. This way, a SaaS provider can resolve integration and compatibility related bottlenecks of its enterprise solution and CSP at the pre-deployment stage.
As this approach is paying huge dividends to SaaS providers and also streamlining many post solution deployment issues for the CSPs, the trend will further increase going into 2020.
Cloud and High Performance Computing
Previously, Cloud Service Providers (CSP) were not much concerned about serving High Performance Computing (HPC) capability over their solutions. It was partly due to the capital and resource intensive implications for the CSP, if it decided to offer HPC over its cloud infrastructure.
Another factor behind this trend was that industries whose workloads were highly processing intensive were skeptical if the cloud solution’s infrastructure would support such tasks. We are seeing improvements on both fronts and now, tasks that necessitate HPC are also being executed over the cloud.
Cloud heavyweights have naturally taken the lead in this area as well and have started offering HPC solutions to their cloud tenants as well. It is estimated that in the year 2020, approximately 40% of the entire HPC tasks will collectively be executed over various cloud based solutions.
Cloud Native Applications
The race for developing the most efficient and cross-platform compatible applications will greatly pick up speed. Such applications will have to be developed as cloud native solutions. Another trend is that applications are being broken down into smaller chunks to make them more affordable and efficient over the cloud.
Further, optimal combinations of applications that are not directly related but serve and organization’s overall goals will be created and for this goal, more SaaS providers will have to collaborate and co-develop certain packages. These “micro services” will make them much affordable for cloud tenants as well.
This issue is likely to dominate the cloud computing industry all through 2020. Firstly, a host of cyber security breaches have greatly highlighted the severity of cloud solution’s security. One more factor that has brought the issue to center stage is that even the industry’s big names featured among the breached service providers.
Cloud Service Providers (CSP) will have to go beyond the traditional security measures as they have proven inadequate to prevent cyber-attacks over the cloud. This does not imply that the traditional cloud security measures such as access controls, firewalls and user authentication are completely redundant.
In addition to the above measures, we will witness CSPs invest more in cloud security on areas such as multi-factor authentication, network segmentation, encryption and threat intelligence. A cloud security measure that can be very effective is to segment the data of a cloud tenant and allow access to each user on the basis of unique roles.
An improved cloud security will go a long way to elevate the stature of Cloud Computing Solutions as a whole. This will give a lot of confidence to organizations that are prospecting for a cloud based solution. Even a single data breach casts severe doubts over the cloud computing industry as a whole.
Migration from VDI to DaaS
This trend is likely to pick up more pace in the upcoming year. Organizations that were nervous to entrust their business critical data to a CSP, but desperately needed a cloud solution were left with no option but to deploy an in-house Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
A VDI creates its unique set of challenges for the deploying entity and at times, the problems can overshadow the desired benefits. Today’s DaaS solutions offered by CSPs are much superior to a VDI solution and not only offer great security, but also a wide range of app virtualization.
CSP based cloud solutions are otherwise highly viable for most organizations as they eliminate the capital expense of setting up a data center in house. In an outsourced cloud solution, as all the infrastructure is handled by the CSP, it eliminates a lot of administrative hassles for the cloud tenant.
We will see this trend continue and even gain more momentum. More organizations will choose an outsourced CSP based cloud solution in favor of an in-house VDI solution. Entities that are deploying a cloud solution for the first time will also be more inclined towards an outsourced cloud solution rather than VDI.
Collaboration between CSPs and Enterprise Software Companies
The needs of cloud tenants are way beyond a basic virtual desktop. At the end of day, organizations have to execute tasks over their virtual machines. For this, they need productivity applications that are fully integrated with the cloud solution.
In addition to productivity apps, organizations also need an enterprise software to coordinate intra and inter departmental processes. This is a major area where CSPs and Software Development companies can collaborate and carve mutually beneficial relationships that generate synergy.
We will see a lot of collaboration between CSPs and Enterprise Software development companies to come up with cloud native productivity applications and enterprise software. This will also provide a strong footing to relatively smaller industry players that will gain access to a broader market by serving the tenants of CSPs.
The year 2020 is also going to be a very eventful one for the Cloud Computing industry. We should see the overall security of cloud based solutions tremendously improve as the issue has occupied center stage. We will also see more collaboration between CSPs and enterprise software developers.
One thing is for sure though, all these trends will work in favor of both cloud employing organizations and the end users of cloud based solutions. More enterprise solutions will be seamlessly integrated into the cloud solutions which will greatly improve the end user experience.