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Cloud growth shows no sign of slowing in 2018

Cloud computing may be the new normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s static, and experts expect the cloud to keep changing at a “breakneck pace” in the year ahead.

Jeff Rowe | Jan 03, 2018 10:05 am

With 2018 now upon us, it’s a good time to lay down some markers for what IT stakeholders are anticipating as the New Year starts to age. At The Enterprisers Project, writer Kevin Casey conducted an informal survey of IT leaders and cloud experts to share what they’re expecting for cloud and related areas in the year ahead. 

In the view of Craig McLuckie, CEO and co-founder of Heptio and one of the original developers of Kubernetes, 2018 will be the year when multi-cloud strategies become the norm in IT, especially as organizations that now feel confident with their initial, single cloud environment look to add more. 

“Most enterprises now have workloads running in the cloud, and many are starting to evaluate who their second cloud provider will be,” McLuckie said. 

McLuckie adds that the reasons for looking to expand to other platforms and environments vary by organization, but they all lead to the same basic result: Multi-cloud. “In some cases it is simply a question of procurement policy – few companies of scale can afford to rely on a single provider. In other cases organizations see potential quality of service, capability, or price advantages in solutions offered by other providers.”

Next, says Casey, 2018 will see IT shops turn from cloud adoption to cloud optimization.

According to Jeff Budge, VP of advisory consulting and product management at OneNeck IT Solutions, “Optimization will appear in many different dimensions, including cost, multi-cloud governance and management, and data optimization.”

Needless to say, cloud costs are already a major topic, but Budge expects IT leaders to focus ever more on their optimization and management next year, particularly as cloud strategies mature. 

Another development Casey and other experts see is the continued expansion of hybrid cloud scenarios. 

As trends like digital transformation and edge computing continue, the case for hybrid cloud models is likely to grow inside many IT shops, said Sergio Farache, senior vice president, global cloud solutions at Tech Data.

“Several elements, from cost of communication, intellectual property, proximity and reliability of applications, will require hybrid computing environments,” he explained. 

On a broader level, Sagi Brody, CTO at Webair, observed that IT leaders and their teams will need to manage a much broader portfolio than in the past, and that will likely involve making smart decisions about what to keep in-house and what to move elsewhere.

“CIOs and CTOs must be deliberate in determining which aspects of their future hybrid IT environments should be managed and orchestrated internally, and where they may prefer to shift responsibility and liability to third parties,” Brody said.