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5 cloud predictions for 2017

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Cloud predictions 20172016 has shown that expert predictions don’t always play out in quite the ways people expect.

If anything, the mantra of “expect the unexpected” seems to be the only one to follow right now. With this as a backdrop, I thought about what the world of cloud might expect to see as 2017 begins.

With your expectations set accordingly; here are five of my predictions:

1. Increased agility will continue to be the main business driver for cloud.

As business demands change at ever faster rates, companies look to cloud for agility. Client engagements show us that traditional IT approaches don’t meet this need. Many companies­­ will discover that their existing culture and processes act as an impediment to using cloud to drive innovation. Cost savings, while still important, are no longer the leading driver of a move to cloud.

2. Organizations will increasingly get rid of on-premises infrastructure.

I’m no longer surprised by organizations that say that they don’t want to own infrastructure, often expressed as a “we don’t want to own and run data centers” message. Industries in which this would be unthinkable a year ago are now “ditching the data center.”  This trend will only continue apace.

3. Public cloud will become the primary delivery vehicle for most cloud adoption.

With this comes two casualties. To start, it undermines the idea that “hybrid” is only about on- to off-premises connectivity. This now becomes a view of “hybrid” being “any-to-any.” It also supports the notion that the hybrid state is a step along the journey to public cloud. Hybrid is no longer the end goal for many clients, but a transition state to the future.

4. “Conservative” industries will adopt cloud.

Many companies will announce moves to “cloud first” models. Many clients are waiting for the first players in their industry to move. This will trigger a mass move to cloud. The ways that cloud can address regulatory issues are now well understood. As a result, organizations that avoided cloud previously will adopt it in droves.

5. Continued fallout from the move to cloud.

This will manifest itself in many ways. Traditional IT organizations will struggle even more with their role in the new world. Traditional IT vendors will also struggle to understand how to do business in the new world. Both of these struggles will lead to knock-on effects on jobs, roles and skills.  Cloud opens up new opportunities, but only for those willing to embrace this new world.

As Niels Bohr supposedly said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”

Considering where predictions got us in 2016, I fall back on this quote should mine above prove to be inaccurate.

Learn more about IBM Cloud solutions.

Distinguished Engineer, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform

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