Public Cloud

If much of the discussion about the cloud until relatively recently has been about whether to move to the cloud or not, over the past year discussions have turned to when rather than if enterprises are going to make the jump. There are many different reasons for this including an increase in the number of secure offers, the rise of both public and private clouds and, of course, the most flexible offering of all, the emergence of hybrid cloud.

Public Cloud In 2019

In fact, the cloud has become such a significant part of the enterprise tech that according to recent research from Gartner, public cloud use next year is to grow by 17% to a total of $266.4 billion up from $227.8 billion in 2019. “At this point, cloud adoption is mainstream,” Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. “The expectations of the outcomes associated with cloud investments therefore are also higher.” He also pointed out that adoption of next-generation solutions are almost always "cloud-enhanced" solutions, meaning they build on the strengths of a cloud platform to deliver digital business capabilities. So how does this stack up. 

  • Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest market segment and is expected to grow to $116 billion next year.
  • Cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which will reach $50 billion in 2020.
  • IaaS is forecast to grow 24 percent.

Related Article: Open Data Initiative, Meet Cloud Information Model: Do We Really Need Both?

Expanding Computing Power

So why are organizations turning to the public cloud? Raji Arasu, is SVP of platform engineering at Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit thinks that cloud computing transforms how companies work and enables organizations to expand and contract computing power and storage, especially at busy times of the year like tax season

It is flexible. Cloud computing is different for every company, dependent on that company’s lifecycle. There are also so many cloud options — partly on-premise and partly on the cloud, multi-cloud vendors, all-in-one cloud. 

Intuit is an example of what some enterprises have been doing. In 2013, it moved to the public cloud, moving the big applications first, which could be difficult for other companies as it can be challenging to get everyone’s buy-in for that approach, said Arasu,. 

In order to allow teams to deliver to its customers and maintain the high standards, it kept infrastructure in both private cloud and public cloud so that there was confidence in rolling back — one foot in each camp so to speak during the transition. Using the public cloud, Arasu said, gave the company more security and ensured flexibility during its transition. “Moving forward, I predict multi-cloud solutions and cloud native solutions are going to become common for companies, using multiple technologies for multiple purposes,” he said.

But there are other benefits too, Chris Ciborowski, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Nebulaworks told us. In a nutshell, he said, the primary benefit of choosing a public service is to increase velocity. Velocity is a vector and therefore has two components: Direction and magnitude. As organizations look to compete in highly dynamic environments, it is imperative to not only move quickly (increase speed) but also simultaneously increase performance or capabilities.

An organization may look to quickly iterate on an application platform where expectations from the user base are constantly changing. By leveraging the cloud, this organization can rapidly add functionality that they do not have internal expertise with, allowing their developers' full access to tooling and technology to solve business problems. In this case, increasing the velocity of development. “Looking at the converse, in the past (or currently low-performing organizations) would spend time to define requirements, evaluate solutions, run proof of concepts, purchase a commercial tool, and implement the tool before even providing access to a developer,” he said.

It should be noted, he said, that the cloud adoption that is mainstream to date has been version 1.0: Lift and shift of services to a public cloud (i.e., shifting capital to operational expense). This is essentially treating the cloud providers as datacenters. While this does increase velocity (speed to provision elastic infrastructure), the costs are high and due to the nature of workloads, the real return is not immediately recognized.

Related Article: SaaS vs. Cloud: Comparing Apples and Oranges

Enabling The Cloud

The next iteration of cloud adoption is focused on cloud-native application development, taking complete advantage of the services and tooling that allows for increasing velocity beyond just development, including day one operations including mitigating security risk and exposure.

Kenny Trinh is managing editor of Netbook news, an online review publication with a staff made of entirely of remote workers and, as such, uses the cloud all the time. He cites three other reasons why more and more organizations are turning to public cloud.

  • Cost-Effective: Cloud is just cheaper. It doesn’t require you to buy any hardware or software and it doesn’t require experienced IT technicians from the customer’s end to maintain.
  • Best Back-up Plan: Important documents and data are best backed up with a cloud service. Even if a computer is fried and an office burned to the ground, saved data on cloud will always be there. Some cloud services even allow making backs ups of your backups. It’s just the best option for backups.
  • Speedy Implementations: Changes in your data stored in cloud are implemented quickly. Updates are sent to everyone immediately. Team collaboration is a breeze. 

The Future With Public Cloud

Amol Dalvi, VP of product at Chicago-based Nerdio says, for the future, public cloud adoption will increase, and will make it easier for companies to take advantage of other new technologies as well because they can be adopted easier, faster, and more affordably through the cloud rather than companies testing and implementing tech like AI, IoT, etc. through custom data centers. Smaller, non-enterprise organizations will completely migrate to public cloud over the next decade. Though there will not be a true opportunity for them to benefit from hybrid clouds, as this appears to be for larger enterprises.

Cybersecurity will be a driving reason for public cloud and big data investments in the New Year. More and more small companies will move their entire IT into the public cloud as a way to counter cybersecurity threats and keep operational costs low.

If you haven’t adopted public cloud yet, you’re behind. Cloud adoption in general will continue to grow in 2020 and companies need to be proactive about adoption. It’s written on the walls, if companies are not in the cloud, they’re behind in the skillset and offering mix that customers now expect.