5 cloud predictions for 2018

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Cloud predictions 2018About this time last year, I provided a set of predictions for cloud in 2017. This year, I’ve been asked back again to gaze into my cloudy crystal ball once more.

Looking back at my 2017 predictions, which focused on agility, infrastructure, public cloud and cloud adoption, they pretty much hit the mark.

Here are a few developments I think 2018 will bring to the world of cloud computing:

1. Containers will go mainstream with Kubernetes.

Containers have been the hot technology for 2017. Many organizations have been experimenting or dabbling with the technology, but very few though have gone full steam ahead with them for production workloads. Kubernetes winning the container management war and the ensuing groundswell of support makes it clear 2018 will be the year when containers run production workloads across the board.

2. The move to public cloud will increase apace.

In my 2017 predictions, I forecast that organizations would adopt a public-cloud-first strategy. Some companies still see on-premises solutions as a stepping stone to public cloud. Others believe this to be their endgame. The speed of innovation in the public cloud will outpace these on-premises solutions. This lag will force companies to embrace public cloud or suffer the consequences.

3. The promise and reality of multicloud will cut through the marketing hype.

Many organizations already consume cloud services from many providers. Generally, it’s for point solutions such as software as a service (SaaS). Organizations consuming the same services from different clouds will be in the minority. The complexity of managing many clouds as one will kick in with a vengeance. Organizations will consume clouds from different providers. These will be for specific workloads and with little or no integration between them.

4. A shortage of skills in cloud technologies will be an increasing problem.

It still surprises me how many organizations simply don’t “get” cloud. This is likely because there is still a great shortage of skills in these technologies. Rapid change coupled with the plethora of choices make finding the right people hard. Learning how to learn quickly will be the key skill to have. Organizations struggling to attract external talent will focus on retraining existing staff. Though slow, this is likely their only way to close the skills gap.

5. Ecosystems rather than functionality will drive SaaS purchasing choices.

Over the past few years, many software vendors have moved to SaaS models. In the past, application functionality was the main driver of software choice. The breadth of the ecosystem will be the main driver of SaaS choice. The number of other companies using or building upon the SaaS APIs will be key. Software services with large ecosystems will be more successful than isolated SaaS properties.

Every day, we see consumer technologies driving the enterprise. In a similar vein, public cloud will drive enterprise cloud strategies and thinking.

Learn more about IBM Cloud solutions.

Distinguished Engineer, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform

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