high rise buildings in a cloudy sky
The cloud will reach maturity in 2017 as more businesses embrace its offerings. PHOTO: Manolo Franco

"The cloud" is a term thrown around again and again. Yet, often times it is difficult for people to comprehend the full spectrum of its power.

Not only is the cloud transforming our everyday activities, it is also responsible for remarkable innovations in big data and open source technology, empowering development organizations and IT departments across the globe.

$146B Cloud Market

But that’s just the beginning. This year, Forrester estimates the international cloud market will be greater than $146 billion.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is still set to continue its lead in the public cloud space, but both private cloud options and public cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google Cloud Platform and the new initiative by Oracle will try to increase their pieces of the pie. 

Certainly, 2017 will continue in the same direction that 2016 ended — but surprising new developments will also come to fruition.

Here are five trends to keep your eyes on.

Open Source Impacts

Open Source Will Gain Momentum as a Driver of Cloud Services

Open source technology is becoming mainstream because it forms the basis of some of the most commonly used tools and services available on the cloud.

The reason is clear. By their very nature, cloud-based tools and services are easy to access and build upon as well as extremely cost-effective and scalable, making the technology a win-win for both budding startups and large enterprise companies alike.

The beauty of the open source world, of course, is the fast-paced, innovative technologies that are drawn to it as well as the robust developer community that contributes to its offerings and ensures its further growth. As 2016 saw the increasing popularity of open source software such as the ELK Stack, 2017 is sure to see this trend continue.

New Architectures

Containers and Serverless Architecture Will Take Over

With the increased agility of development teams, Docker and serverless technologies are taking center stage, allowing developers to develop and deploy their code without the overhead of servers, operating systems or hardware restrictions.

Containers are a new development. Yet, their widespread adoption, security infrastructure and versatility will make them easier than ever to implement in 2017.

Docker has been the leader in the field for quite some time, but containers specializing in most public and private cloud infrastructures will possibly become competition — especially in the realm of private clouds. But even as Google, Microsoft and AWS develop their own container systems, Docker’s offerings will remain too good to pass up and will maintain the company’s edge for years to come.

In addition to Docker continuing its dominance, serverless computing will also dominate in 2017. In essence, serverless computing allows companies to build advanced applications without the need for complex frameworks.

Code is programmed to respond to various actions in a process that allows for more dynamic and fast-paced operations. AWS Lambda is one such example of the cloud going serverless and we expect to see more developments and examples of this technology throughout the year.

Lower Costs

Costs Will Go Down, Multicloud Will Become the Norm

With a rising number of cloud vendors, the recent entrance of Oracle to the mix will push CIOs to start looking at cost more closely.

This may result in a price reduction in all cloud vendors as well as a change in the pricing model. We see this already in some serverless architectures as well as in big data engines. Cost is no longer a function of the time you use the resource but is instead, a function of the complexity of your operation.

We will start seeing a rise in organizations that rely on a multicloud strategy to develop their services, which enable CIOs to negotiate prices with their cloud vendors in real time.

Data and Intelligence

Big Data, IoT and AI Will Drive Cloud Growth

With the explosive growth of Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), the amount of offline data analysis is growing exponentially.

With every self driving car, drone and house thermostat used, data is being collected in order to make these devices better, train their AI algorithms, and analyze their performance and operations. Today, the cloud provides the best platform for computing Big Data intensive tasks at a reasonable price and it will continue to do so for years to come.

Additionally, we see cloud vendors are focusing their efforts on making big data and AI analysis simpler and easier to run. This trend continues with the growth of the data and the complexity required of these AI algorithms.

Advanced Analytics

Analytics Will Become More Advanced

With the accumulation of data in the cloud, the ability to analyze it and achieve results whether it is for IT operations, security, training AI algorithms, or analyzing IOT performance means the need for more advanced analytics will become critical since what exists today may not scale to the same extent that the complexity of the problems do.

With companies moving their data 3 to 4.5 times faster to the public cloud compared to local data centers, the sheer amount of data to uncover is becoming overwhelming. It is now more difficult to access the servers and gain visibility, a fact that has large implications for the types of analytics that will be stored in the cloud.

To analyze such an IT environment more effectively, companies will need more advanced analytical data. This way, environments will become more accessible and scalable than ever.

In 2017, the cloud will grow substantially. In years past, we have grappled with the reach and implications of this technology.

This year, it will reach maturity as more and more businesses get on board with its offerings. It’s an exciting time to be a player in the world of cloud technology, and we can’t wait to see how it progresses this coming year.