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Cloud Trends 2021

Cloud Trends 2021

These are the top Cloud Trends in 2021. As we know Information Technology is backbone of any business and today Cloud is the backbone of Information Technology in businesses. Due to the sudden shift of workforce to remote locations (WFH) in 2020, the digital transformation has become the main requirement of businesses. Cloud has made it possible. Let us see the main cloud trends in 2021.

What do we consider as Cloud?

Cloud Infrastructure consists of Cloud Computing (Servers) , Cloud Storage and Network. Be it SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, DRraaS or any other Cloud Service. Everything is considered as Cloud.

What has changed in one decade?

If we look back to 2010 cloud adoption was nowhere near as high as it is today and much of that was down to lack of knowledge and  understanding. Moreover, the security concerns organizations had. They didn’t fully understand how the data would be protected and so they obviously found it hard to take the initial steps of a cloud migration journey and that fear was fully justified to be fair ten years ago the cloud was still very new to many of us.

Mindset of Organizations about Cloud in 2021

Talking about the world of cloud in the year 2021. Firstly, the perceptions and mindsets of organizations have changed dramatically. Awareness, understanding and visibility of Cloud Infrastructure has improved .Cloud adoption is not a luxury anymore, it is necessity for all kind of businesses. If Businesses need to meet the customers expectations; businesses and IT need to rethink about their cloud operating model.

Secondly, the concerns of organizations related to cloud 10 years ago is now major driving factor of cloud today. Today, cloud has highlighted sophisticated security toolsets, techniques and technologies. 

Covid19 pandemic accelerated Cloud Adoption

Though Industry 4.0 is the major driving force for the cloud adoption. But Covid19 pandemic has changed all the times lines. Be it a global supply chain or remote workforce, during the current pandemic organizations are looking for increased scalability and business continuity. Earlier business were just thinking of cloud adoption, but now there is no choice, cloud is the only option for improvements in businesses. That is why there was a significant acceleration of cloud adoption in year 2021 and has still continued.

Despite uncertainty due to the pandemic cloud services grew drastically.  No doubt that the business side is going to take a very active role in driving the next level of transformation at the same time cloud services need to be more agile and resilient today. This is because the speed of transformation to industry 4.0 has increased. Robotics is getting popularity in various sectors.

Cloud is not an Option but Adoption

Businesses are agile today, where scalability and elasticity of technology is highly in demand, and and cloud is the only answer, I have a moonshot thinking about cloud adoption, as mentioned it is not an option, it is about do or die. In the end it is all about benefits to the businesses. We can’t ignore the benefits that businesses gained due to Cloud.

One the other hand, If we look at fastest declining industries globally we will mainly notice two industries which are impacted by Today’s digitization and cloud innovation;

  • Printing (Newspapers, Magazines and commercial)
  • Computer Hardware Manufacturing

This is the impact of Cloud on these two major industries. As I mentioned, cloud adoption is accelerated today, let me justify this.

Cloud Spending has Increased

Global trend clearly shows and adoption of cloud services, where businesses are moving from capex to open. As per IDC, public cloud spending will grow three times from 4.9$ billion to 18.1$ Billion in 2024. This is because of various reasons be it is Industry 4.0 related technologies, 5G, AI, Big Data or the pendamic.

5G in the Telecommunication

With almost zero latency, 5G If we see the top trends in Industry which are going to reshape the world the first is 5G in the telecommunication sector. 5G improves the cloud integration, device or on premises storage will not be required at all. But here I am mainly concerned about the Computing on Cloud which will improve drastically.

Cloud Trends 2021

Though cloud adoption is promising today. But still after 14 years of cloud growth, only one-fifth of enterprise applications are running on cloud. But it is not about Saas any more, PaaS, Iaas and even DRaaS WSaaS. Let us look at the top trends of Cloud today;

Multi-Cloud

Today, multi-cloud is being adopted by many organizations, which was not intentional but it mainly started with merging and acquisition, where one company was using Azure and another was using AWS, still they continued using the services and it became a trend, it was just to keep the simplicity. But think about management, that is why Kubernetes became a trend.

We had no idea how fast it would grow but Kubernetes is just breaking out everywhere and what that really is a signal of a technical capability to have a common operational stance on multiple clouds. GCP, AWS, Azure or Alibaba Cloud all have their own native Kubernetes services which are really good so you can be multi-cloud on purpose you can have a good way of managing it. 

Today Multi Cloud management platforms are trending as it is required to manage resources spread across several environments. Be it automation or orchestration , security, cost management or governance. That is why kubernetes have started growing. Think about data, there is no standard container to store the data, but kubernetes has the solution.

Artificial Intelligence Engineering

Businesses today have the concern that how AI can solve their business problems, and how the cloud providers can enable AI for them. What cloud providers can do in terms of Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Today’s businesses have spent a lot of money in having an on premises data center to maintain their legacy systems including the ERPs, Exchange, BIs and various other platforms. But they know that to take the benefit for business from Big Data, ML, AI and other Data Driven apps, they need to move to cloud. 

Businesses with AI will not get 10% improvement but 10 times improvement. Organizations need a strong artificial intelligence (AI) engineering strategy to ensure their AI projects don’t fail, Gartner said in its “Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021” report.

Big Data as Cloud Trend

I don’t want to miss here the important facts about Big Data, which is no longer a buzzword, everyone knows about it.  But recently it has again become a hot topic due to cloud vendors. As they have developed new services and technology to manage big data. Processing unstructured data is still a challenge for many organizations, but cloud has ready made solutions, and when processing, cloud providers have technologies to make sense from the business data. This means the cloud has all the servers ready, businesses not need to worry about having the on premises servers and paying for additional storage components.

The velocity at which Data is growing, cloud is growing at the same velocity, but to scale  on  premises technologies it becomes a big challenge. And I want to mention an important statistic here, apparently data scientists still spend roughly 80% of their time cleaning data and preparing it and that leaves at most 20% in terms of analyzing data, this means  a lot of manual work. I think the visualization tools have got stronger but  loading and processing tools have not. So, I think there’s a big gap there.

Organizations have limitations to store the data, only structured data was being stored in databases, semi structured in exchanges or file servers, then unstructured. I believe that was the limitation. However, app driven data has formed big data. And with all such apps organizations have capability to log and store everything via cloud. But what to do with this data. Answer is Data Analytics.

Data Analytics

Data analytics provides a way of gaining insight of data to benefit the business, via analytic functions querying both historical and Realtime data. Which helps to understand the granular level, for positive outcomes. Predictive Maintenance of Machines or letting a bank know that a credit card fraud is going to happen before it happens and all the insight of the business on Realtime.

To get started on the cloud you don’t need to be a data scientist, you can start with data gathering, data analysis and data visualization apps on cloud.

 As I mentioned earlier, about security concerns of businesses. Even today 74 percent of organizations named data security as their top IT priority, as they see data as an opportunity but loss as threat, though they agree that they need to have actionable insights, but still the major concern is data security.

Edge Computing

Edge Computing is mainly required for Local processing, due to Transformation to Industry 4.0 Technologies, specially IoTs in Industries has caused growth in edge computing. AI and 5G also facilitate the expansion of Edge, where time sensitivity and volume of volume from IoT or edge device need provide analytics on Realtime. However, hardware vendors are also working on edge to ensure that they behave like Cloud. In coming years, on premises spending will be only on Edge Computing.

It is predicted that Edge Computing in the next 5 years will have significant growth. As we don’t need to send all data to the cloud. Though latency might be answered by 5G but Edge Computing is still to grow. Cloud providers also provide such solutions like Amazon’s cloud front.

Hybrid Cloud

When thinking about adoption of Cloud, there is always risk of failure due to increased complexity and rapid change in architecture. But, hybrid-cloud approach is logical and which can help organization to respond to the demand rapidly without spending much on the operating cost and at the same time spend on innovation.

Today, hybrid cloud is defined as the combination of Cloud vs on-premises technologies. But, In my opinion, hybrid cloud shouldn’t be confused with having legacy applications on premises and some applications on cloud. It is about Edge Computing and Cloud Computing that makes Hybrid Cloud, we can also say edge computing as cloud.

Automated and Optimization

Automated cloud orchestration and optimization is one of the most important aspect of Cloud providers. IT organizations are rapidly adopting cloud because of this reason.

Remember, that IT has Automated the businesses, but now IT also needs various automation services, and to automate IT, you need to learn new skills. It is time to dive in and embrace cloud and get that digital transformation program kick-started and I mean if you’re a developer or a sysadmin. Automation is the foundation of cloud solutions and with so many services out there, there is reduction of operational resources required to perform the same functions.

Cloud Security

Lastly, I will talk a little bit about cloud security. Let us first talk about Physical Security. Cloud providers have a far higher level of security protecting their systems. Talking about AWS, even their employees have no idea about the location of physical data centers. Now think of your own on premises data centers? Regarding network and data security, they have the best technology in place.

Cloud Skills and Talent

Now as I have talked about cloud growth I must also talk about Talent acquisition, this is  a fact that in this region and globally, there are few cloud experts. If we talk about the COVID19, I must say it is really an opportunity to get ready for cloud skills.  As we have seen in the last decade and in the coming years, companies will be doing skills-based hiring rather than education based, so learn new skills if you need to get hired into the job. Cloud is not about signing up for AWS, Microsoft or Google it is about a new IT standardization, automation and strategy. And don’t worry, all of the Cloud providers have various pathways to develop your skill without getting admission to college or university. 

Now is the time to start your journey because you will be in hot demand. 

Don’t worry, you are not alone, even an average IT company lacks in talent. You can join various Cloud programs and learn AWS, Azure, GCP or any other Cloud Service.

Common Cloud Questions

Question 1 : Key Criteria For Making Multi-Cloud Adoption A Success?

In my opinion we must form a good Multi-Cloud strategy first. While working smartly, we need to put the right workload into right cloud. By considering Cost (server cost, storage cost, the data transfer free), Performance (Uptime, latency) and many other factors. For this we must have detailed information of our infrastructure requirements.

When using multi-cloud, complexity will increase, which also means new security policies needs to be adopted. Our strategy should be to simply the complexity of using multi-cloud. Detailed explanation can be found here.

Question 2 : Considering Cloud in mind, how can the security  challenges of digital business transformation, edge computing, and workforce mobility be met?

If we talk about Digitalization, we say work from anywhere, and cloud-based computing, which means the secure access has to be given anywhere at any time to anyone. I must say that one word is SASE.

Security and risk management leaders should build a migration plan from legacy perimeter and hardware-based offerings to a SASE model.” You can’t just flip a switch to adopt SASE and enable anywhere, anytime access from any device.

SASE simplifies network infrastructure by merging networking and security services into a unified architecture. It is an Identity-based network access which is a zero Trust, policy-based model. 

Also according to Gartner: “The vast majority of enterprise SASE adoption will occur over several years, prioritizing areas of greatest opportunity in terms of cost savings, eliminating complexity and redundant vendors, and risk reduction through adoption of a zero-trust secure posture.”

Question 3 : With today’s development of Cloud, why do we still need Hybrid  Cloud?

In fact, industry 4.0 is all about machines talking to each other, where IoT based sensors are generating terabytes of data, and sending all that data to the cloud is not worth it. Latency and bandwidth will delay the processing of that data, therefore edge computing has the answer to it. Where most of the analysis that has to be done on realtime is done using edge computing.

What is prevalent technology trend during pandemic?

Data governance will become an ever more prevalent topic for CIOs, CISOs, and CDOs to ensure responsible use and availability of cloud data. Mainly the encryption of data before moving the data from on premises to the cloud.

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