Guest post by Angelina Harper.
Cloud computing has become a global phenomenon since the concept emerged a decade ago. For technology buyers ,it has democratized access to advanced software; it gives startups and small businesses access to a sophisticated IT infrastructure on an “on-demand” basis. For vendors, it simplifies sales and support while making revenue streams more predictable.
Forrester predicts that the cloud software market will grow to $411 billion by 2022. This indicates the enthusiastic embrace of cloud computing by businesses of all sizes.
What exactly is cloud computing? To put it simply, it is a way of using remote servers to access files, host databases, and run applications. The benefits of cloud computing include scalability, robustness, and cost-effectiveness.
Cloud computing is still evolving. It is expanding in a variety of directions, giving rise to a number of trends. Understanding these trends will help you leverage cloud computing most effectively for the needs of your organization.
To give you insights about where cloud computing is heading in 2020, here are six of the most important and prominent trends in the industry.
1. Serverless Computing
Conventional cloud computing operates on a model where you rent a fixed number of servers to run applications or store data. This structure works well for large scale enterprises, but it can be costly and inefficient for smaller businesses.
Serverless computing providers attempt to address this issue with a different pricing model. Instead of paying for a whole server, you get charged based on the actual amount of resources you use.
The main benefit of this model is that you don’t have to worry about spending too much or too little on servers. You get as much computing power as you need, and the price you pay reflects that.
The other benefit of serverless computing is that it makes software deployment easier. You won’t have to worry about things like scaling, capacity planning, or maintenance operations, since they are managed by the cloud provider by default.
2. Edge Computing
When you buy storage space or computational power on the cloud, you don’t get to choose where the actual servers are located. They can be housed at the far end of the globe, which can cause latency and bandwidth issues.
Edge computing is a way to solve this issue while maintaining the benefits of the cloud. The concept is to keep servers physically close to cloud service users. This reduces the distance data has to travel. The goal of edge computing is to move processes away from data centers towards the edge of the network.
Edge computing makes it possible to run computationally-intensive processes such as facial recognition without impacting the speed of your application.
3. Cloud-based Container Management
Containers are a new way for companies to deploy and manage code. A container is a self-contained bundle of services, dependencies, and drivers needed to run a particular piece of code. It resembles a virtual machine but is considerably leaner and more versatile.
Containers make it easy to port applications from one cloud service from another. For example, you can develop an app on Amazon Web Services, deploy it on Microsoft Azure, and then re-deploy it on Google Cloud.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Computing
The cloud is increasingly being used as a container for running AI systems. According to Deloitte, 70% of companies that currently use AI do so via cloud-based software solutions. And by 2020, this will grow to an estimated 87%.
AI and cloud computing make a natural pair. Cloud computing makes it possible to distribute computations and data across a large network. And this is exactly what’s needed to run computationally-intensive, data-based machine learning algorithms that power AI.
Intelligent automation has been one of the major achievements of this technological convergence. For instance, cloud-based CRM software enables you to utilize marketing automation to deliver relevant content at the most opportune moment.
5. Private Cloud Computing
To utilize cloud computing, companies traditionally had to go to third-party providers such as Amazon or Google. This trend is about to change thanks to the proliferation of private or on-premise cloud computing solutions.
A private cloud is a cloud that is used by only one company or organization. The cloud is typically hosted in the company’s data center and therefore doesn’t rely on external servers. It does, however, make the company solely responsible for data security, backup, and disaster recovery.
The main advantage of private clouds is that they can be tailored to fit the needs of the organization using it. A private cloud also offers a greater degree of control, security, and flexibility. They are also more cost-efficient in the long run.
Private clouds are especially useful for organizations with predictable workloads, organizations working in software R&D, and organizations in regulated industries.
6. Hybrid Cloud Computing
Hybrid cloud computing leverages both private and public clouds to give companies additional flexibility in how they use cloud computing.
One key benefit of hybrid clouds is they offer on-demand scalability. A company can offload its extra workload from a private cloud to a public one once a certain threshold is met. Another way companies have been using hybrid clouds is to store sensitive data in a private cloud, and use a public one for computing.
In addition, companies have been moving to hybrid cloud models to keep costs down. Some public cloud providers have started charging extra for features such as security, error tracking, or logging. To avoid these costs, companies began deploying these features on-premise, while still using public clouds when and where they are cost-effective.
The Forecast for Tomorrow is Cloudy
Based on the latest trends, cloud computing is heading for a (mostly) bright future in 2020. Cloud computing is the delivery channel of choice for a wide range of business solutions, are there are many more on the way.
The large providers still need to address lingering concerns over single-point-of-failure, security, and most importantly data privacy. Still, usage will continue to grow as cloud computing makes powerful technologies such as AI more readily available to companies of all sizes.