Cloud computing has indeed been a remarkable development that has transformed the tech sector, most noticeably with regards to the use of technological innovations to optimize operations in the corporate world.

Businesses and organizations are beginning to implement a variety of Cloud services and Cloud computing techniques in order to maximize their productivity and improve their output.

Believe it or not, despite the massive buzz this impressive innovation is generating, it is barely scratching the surface in terms of market share with over 50% of the enterprise space yet to adopt its tools and services in basic corporate operations.

Analysts believe that the Cloud market is yet to fulfill its potential and the value of public cloud services is bound to surpass $200 billion in 2020. The 50% threshold of the market is also expected to be crossed in 2018 as more firm begin to relax their negative stance based on irrational fears about the security of Cloud solutions.

All projections available point to the year 2020 as the pivotal period for the aggressive proliferation of Cloud computing services; however, it is 2018 that sets the foundation for the expansive growth that is expected to last over a decade.

2018 is a critical year for Cloud computing and Cloud technology in general with more web-based companies incorporating different types of Cloud infrastructures into their operations. There are numerous developments to look forward to in this field but the following trends are game changers that will boost the status of one of the biggest technological milestone in recent history.

Cloud Computing Leaders will Consolidate on their Gains

E-commerce giant, Amazon, along with Microsoft and the search engine company, Google, are the biggest leaders in Cloud computing. They have been successfully able to incorporate the technology into their relative services and have managed to deliver highly optimized performances to the billions of end users registered to their services.

Amazon, however, has the largest bite of the market with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) predicted to generate revenue of about $43 billion before the end of 2022. The company, which has already begun to provide Cloud services to some of the biggest banks, is certain to maintain its hold on the market.

Google and Microsoft have, however, not relented in their effort to compete with the E-commerce tech giant. Google, in particular, has seamlessly incorporated Cloud computing into a variety of services it provides including the renowned trio of Google Drive, Google Sheet, and Google Docs. Both companies also rent some of their cloud infrastructures to multi-corporations in the finance and tech sectors.

2018 is unlikely to bring about a change in the status quo; rather, it sees these three tech-centered companies expand on their percentage gain in the Cloud service delivery market. Though companies like Alibaba, Oracle, NTT, and Rackspace are upgrading their Cloud services to be able to compete with the three major players, they will have to continue striving to win the remaining 30% of the market.

Increase in the Popularity of Serverless Computing

One of the perks of incorporating a Cloud-based solution into a business’ operation is the ease of use that it provides as well as eliminating the need to operate physical servers. This feature has drawn many companies and organizations to various Cloud services with the popularity of Cloud computing expanding even further.

With businesses now realizing that they do not have to own the cloud facility to perfectly set up and run their various applications, lots of startups are able to follow through with their tech ideas until their platforms are completely developed and accessible to their prospective user base.

All Three Models of Cloud Service (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) to Experience Impressive Growth

The three Cloud service models have indeed been getting lots of attention with most corporate entities willing to settle for any the three options that best suit their operations.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) model remains a widely accessible solution, and of course, the most popular among the trio. This popularity is expected to further increase in 2018 since this option offers by far the cheapest and least-cumbersome Cloud service solution.

With most companies being startups or small businesses that cannot afford their own Cloud facility, the SaaS is guaranteed to be the go-to solution for many of the firms in 2018.

PaaS and to a lesser extent IaaS will also see some growth as well as an increase in demand, though this will be limited to companies that want some level of control and wish to manage aspects of the Cloud service like network, storage, and as is the case with IaaS, servers.

IaaS, which gives lots of control to the business, is expected to have a market valuation of $17 billion in 2018, and the E-commerce giant, Amazon, is guaranteed the biggest market share.

Kubernetes Finally Begins to Thrive

This innovative orchestration tool is finally beginning to get the attention it truly deserves and 2018 may just be the year it takes off as an important virtualization tool. Originally created by Google, though now run by the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), Kubernetes’ functions include automating deployment as well as the management and scaling of containerized application.

The open-source solution is certain to be one of the tools to monitor this year particularly after Amazon Web Services decided to endorse the open-source technology and finally launched two fully managed container services that support the technology.

That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg as more Cloud service vendors are beginning to embrace Kubernetes and incorporate it into their tech solutions.

This development has made Kubernetes operation and management the most lucrative skill to acquire in 2018 since more opportunities are guaranteed and the supply of the expertise is very low.

With more companies beginning to run their entire operations via the Cloud, there is more need for container technology in order to accommodate such massive workload. Kubernetes is proving itself to be the option for companies in 2018.

An Increase in the Use of Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Cloud to Cloud/Dual Cloud Connectivity

Leaving an extensive Cloud solution in the hands of just one vendor can be very restrictive, especially if the client provides a broad range of services that require a highly optimized cloud facility.

Lots of Cloud service providers are able to deliver this solution by installing multiple APIs on the platform and interlinking them to sync multi-disciplinary and cross-functional processes as well as connecting them with the management system.

Cloud to cloud connectivity is certainly a route many large corporations will be taking if they intend to maximize the capacity of their systems and improve performance.

Cloud to On-Premises Connectivity

Many companies who are still not sold on Cloud computing and refuse to get rid of their on-premises solutions have the option of merging both entities together to create a hybrid Cloud solution.

In this hybrid setting, the on-premises solution functions as the principle facility while the Cloud input basically implements customization effects across every fragment of the software. This solution is perfect in certain circumstances including:

When the company wants a security setup that allows the control of data flow

When the on-premises system basically controls every facet of the enterprise’s operations and migrating the data to the Cloud becomes very cumbersome.

Another factor that can bring about the use of this hybrid solution is the cost of migrating from the on-premises solution to Cloud services.

SaaS Vendors Expanding to Provide Full Platforms

While SaaS seems to be the widely used Cloud service model, PaaS is slowly gaining popularity since it delivers its Cloud service as a platform that makes it easier for businesses to incorporate their software.

An increase in the demand for more a customizable Cloud service has led many SaaS focused vendors to begin expanding their services in order to accommodate PaaS solutions. This trend is already beginning to happen with the SaaS centered vendor, Workday, now functioning as a platform delivery Cloud service.

AI Analytics Beginning to Thrive

Predictive analytics with regards to AI components is an aspect IT many seem to be dismissing but has now proven to be quite important for the purpose of development. Having an AI tool that is able to comprehensively analyze every component of the Cloud infrastructure and deliver actionable data and suggestions is quite priceless especially since it is becoming more and more difficult to run manually developed tests.

With the AI’s ability to perfectly assess every level of the business’ Cloud facility and also give an automated response to each encountered defect, it is indeed the best option available for the different variations of Cloud services.

The wide acceptance of AI Analytics is inevitable because it performs both diagnostic and preventive duties and even detects vague defects in the Cloud infrastructure that aren’t apparent yet, hence, helping businesses immediately fix the anomaly before it leads to a crash of their systems.

IT Analytics service providers like New Relic and Splunk have begun embracing the use of AI solutions to the services that they offer with the aforementioned duo announcing the addition of AI features to their new platforms this year.

Continuous Fall in the Cost of Cloud Computing

2017 saw a drastic fall in the cost of Cloud computing services with many vendors offering very affordable packages that are tailored to fit the revenues of their clients. With the supply of Cloud services still enormous compared to its demand, one can expect a continuous downward slide of the costs as well as a slight increase in the number of clients subscribing to the services.

Crowdsourced Cloud Solution for Storage Needs

With a typical Cloud solution being ubiquitous and capable of being compartmentalized, a crowdsourced Cloud service may be the best option for businesses that do not want to spend sizeable amounts of their budgets on the procurement of Cloud facilities.

The sharing of Cloud storage facilities by multiple entities will become even more common in 2018 as businesses begin to copy applications like the community sharing Cloud tool, Google Drive. Since the Cloud is composed of multiple VMs (Virtual Machines) and can be easily divided into numerous sub-entities, having several users will not hinder its performance.

Cloud to Combat Security Challenges

Security breaches and inconsistencies continue to be major challenges facing Cloud technology with these issues being the main downside of a truly amazing technological innovation. 2017 alone saw a 29% jump in the number of Cloud-based data breaches with over 791 cases, a record high, reported. Perhaps, the most notorious incident of recent is the data breach at the credit reporting agency, Equifax, which led to the theft of very sensitive information belonging to millions of people. The stolen information retrieved from the company’s storage facility includes people’s names, birth dates, social security digits, driver’s license details, and of course, credit card numbers.

With more banks also beginning to migrate to Cloud backed systems, the idea of a breach in a very critical sector of the economy is indeed concerning.

That said, lots of tech companies are battling against this menace, and there are signs of things turning for the better.

For example, Google has incorporated a security mechanism that adds a 2-step verification stage. The key step is the delivery of a passcode to the mobile device of the user, which gives the individual sole access to the cloud tool account.

Information security is indeed a booming market and experts expect investments in this area of Cloud computing to have a valuation of $93 billion.

IoT to Benefit from Cloud Growth

The continuous growth in Cloud services isn’t waning anytime soon and one tech entity that will benefit from this is the Internet of Things (IoT) and its incorporated devices. With IoT linked tools like appliances, electronics, and vehicles now controlled from a Cloud-centered back-end, an increase in the popularity of Cloud services is certainly guaranteed to bring about the development of more awesome IoT gadgets.

Conclusion

2018 will indeed be a great year for Cloud technology even as it struggles to overcome multiple challenges hindering its progress. Regardless of the drawbacks that are peculiar with the tech solution, it remains one of the most reliable innovations that are widely available and accessible for all to use.