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What technologies will grow in the cloud in 2018?

Among other cloud developments, experts say automation solutions that can handle hybrid and multi-cloud environments will be in increasingly high demand.

Jeff Rowe | Jan 29, 2018 12:00 am

"The cloud has become the launchpad for virtually every new IT innovation in the last 24 months – including AI, blockchain, quantum computing and more.” 

So said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, in a November statement concerning the growth of the public cloud

But what are the key cloud technologies that healthcare and other organizations should be aware of in the year ahead?

At Datamation, writer Cynthia Harvey pointed out quite a few, beginning with the hybrid cloud.

“For most enterprises, using multiple clouds has become the norm,” she said, pointing to a recent survey in which 67 percent of respondents said that they had a hybrid cloud, and 85 percent said that they were pursuing a multi-cloud strategy.

“For enterprises, the key issue involved with the hybrid cloud is interoperability,” Harvey explained. “Many will be looking for new solutions that make it easier to manage infrastructure and applications across their in-house data centers and the various public cloud services that they are using.”

Another tech development Harvey pointed to is so-called “serverless computing, sometimes referred to as Function-as-a-Service.  “FaaS allows developers to write and deploy code in the cloud without provisioning resources. It isn't really serverless — the applications still do run on servers — but the developers don't have to think about the servers at all. Automation handles all of the provisioning and configuration, freeing up the developers to focus on code.”

Yet another development, increasingly familiar to cloud users, is machine learning.

Said Harvey, “Artificial intelligence and its machine learning subset seem to be everywhere in the technology industry these days. According to a recent report from Deloitte Global, ‘In 2018, large and medium-sized enterprises will intensify their use of machine learning. The number of implementations and pilot projects using the technology will double compared with 2017, and they will have doubled again by 2020.’”

Finally, there’s the increasingly ubiquitous automation, which is spreading as enterprises embrace DevOps and utilize “a lot more automation to manage their IT environments — and that includes cloud environments. That means many will be investing in software and/or cloud services that provide automated cloud provisioning, migration, optimization and management.”

Indeed, according to Gartner, "By 2020, 50 percent of global enterprises will have implemented at least one application release automation solution, up from less than 15 percent today."