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Cloud and technology trends to look out for in 2019

Cloud adoption is increasing and, at the same time, advances in technology are occurring at a rapid pace. In this article Joe Kinsella looks at six trends which business continuity and enterprise risk managers need to be aware of.

As we move through 2019, organizations will begin to fully embrace the technological advances that move companies beyond standard adoption, and instead prompt organizations to redefine how they use cloud across lines of the business, specific applications and wider infrastructures. After years of discussing Cloud 2.0, we have finally welcomed in a new era of cloud. Looking ahead at this Cloud 3.0, we will continue to see impressive cloud adoption across all industries and with this, a resolute determination from the cloud industry to build solutions and integrated data tools that best meet user needs. The cloud space is evidently getting more crowded, complicated and competitive - but what will be the key trends that we can expect to see this year?

#1 The rise of multicloud deployment

In 2019, multicloud will become the most dominant approach as organizations deploy diverse clouds and operations within a single heterogeneous infrastructure in order to meet their different services and needs. It will continue to be used as a key strategy in bringing choice to the organization to pick and choose specific solutions as business requirements become more challenging due to increasing demand for digital transformation. 

Leaders will choose multi-cloud strategies to avoid dependence on a singular cloud provider and mitigate the risk of a single point of failure so to reduce impact and financial risk across the entire enterprise. In a time when security threats are at their greatest, leveraging two or more service providers will greatly decrease the risk of disaster during downtime.

#2 Meaningful machine learning in IT management

When recalling the progressions made in machine learning so far, little can be said for its day-to-day application for IT management. The cloud industry is going through a gradual shift towards an intelligent cloud and in 2019, we can hope to see it evolve at a faster rate with further innovative projects such as AWS’s DeepRacer.

With machine learning as a focal point, we will begin to see more movement in the application for management of business services and workloads. Machine learning will become more meaningful in terms of impacting IT management, making big data analytics easier in finding patterns and forecasting trends more accurately, while replacing the need for human manual processes. 

#3 Blurring of the line between public and private cloud

2019 could be the year and turning point for organizations to migrate critical workloads to public cloud as business leaders strive to stay ahead in digital transformation with faster access to emerging technologies, on-demand capacity and unlimited scalability. And with the public cloud entering the data center / centre through solutions like Amazon Relational Database Service, the rigid line between public and private cloud is slowly being diminished.

So, with the cloud world no longer being a simple black or white, how will we adjust to this new commoditised cloud world?

Fundamentally, APIs and control plans will become increasingly more important, and strategies will need to focus on when and where streams are being run and who is managing them. IT management will need to have a clear plan in determining what should be outsourced and create a contingency plan for when adjustments need to be made.

#4 Heterogeneous cloud will extend on premise

The public cloud is inevitably permeating the data center through AWS Outposts and Azure Stack — on-premise solutions which transport providers’ software stacks into customer data centers — and will have an impact on heterogeneous cloud. Historically, bringing the public cloud into the data center has been impacted by two impediments 1) cost of networking and 2) gravity of data. With these offerings, organizations will now be able to run platform services that are in applications directly within their own data centers (as opposed to across providers). This shift coincides with advancements of microservices (e.g. RDS on top of VMWare) that will eliminate the cost of networking and gravity of data issues.

#5 The conflict between governance and agility

IT governance is intertwined with business goals and policies, and how an organization uses the cloud will be affected by their level of involvement and risk around governance. And today, there are no real standards for governance as there are numerous management point tools that offer different insights.

The success of cloud services is often a double-edged sword as the public cloud is advancing at an accelerated rate and much faster than pre-cloud business services, which inevitably brings us to a standstill. There is a surge in demand, but organizations do not have the capacity to fulfill expectations when it comes to security, reliability, operability and governance.

New cloud technologies are changing the nature of services and in turn, are creating new governance and compliance challenges for enterprises. Moving to a new cloud system will require redefined roles and capabilities, and looking ahead, this oversight and management could become an impediment to an organization’s ability to move forward and evolve. As businesses strive to innovate, creating complex services in a timely manner while minimising the potential risks could become very difficult.

#6 Virtual machines and containers, better together?

Containers and virtual machines are two separate ways to deploy multiple, isolated services on a single platform, but in the ultimate battle between using the two it’s not either - it’s both. At re:Invent, Amazon announced Amazon Firecracker, the company’s first ever open source project. The introduction of Amazon Firecracker was not only a milestone moment for Amazon, but also signals a new wave of solutions that offer the best of both worlds.
Firecracker is a new virtualization technology that allows users to launch lightweight micro-virtual machines (microVMs) in non-virtualized environments in a fraction of a second. This means organizations can take advantage of both the security and workload isolation provided by traditional VMs and the resource efficiency that comes along with containers. And as we move through 2019, the industry will probably only see more microVMs entering the market.

What can we take away from this?

As we look at these technological advances, enterprises will need to consider the impact of these changes and take on a new standard for adoption. The key to success will be to consider all foundational requirements and design goals at the beginning of the cloud journey to ensure the best possible chance for successful implementation.

In 2019, organizations will need to respond with speed and skill to address changing cloud markets and technologies. Cloud architecture has come a long way and as organizations shift their IT strategies and the right steps are taken, we can look forward to cloud continuing to power digital transformation around the world.

The author

Joe Kinsella is CTO and Founder at CloudHealth.

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