Faster innovation, increased competition and repatriation -- cloud predictions for 2019

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Use of the cloud is now well established in many businesses. But that's not to say that it isn’t still a fast moving sector of the industry.

With greater competition than ever and the pace of innovation showing little sign of slowing down, we’ve put together some expert views on what might be in store for cloud users in 2019

Competition between major public cloud providers is expected to increase according to Sanjay Beri, CEO of Netskope. "As the pace of digital innovation and demands pertaining to new cloud features, costs, geographic coverage, and support increases, the cloud wars between Amazon, Google and Microsoft will only get fiercer in 2019. It’s healthy competition as a variety of new use cases are made possible by the adoption of multi- and hybrid-cloud, with customers typically opting for multiple vendors versus just one. Looking at cloud security specifically next year, IT teams will need to ensure that the organization's application and infrastructure vendors are working alongside one another, and have even more shared responsibility to ensure that physical security and beyond are adequately accounted for -- and most importantly protected against cyber attacks."

As enterprises start to look at what the cloud is costing them, Oussama El-Hilali, VP of products at Arcserve. expects some workloads to start coming back in house. "2018 was the year of public cloud sticker shock, so 2019 will be the year of cloud repatriation. Many enterprises were sucked in by what they perceived to be low costs of public cloud subscriptions, but later discovered they had to dish out exorbitant fees when they needed to access, move or restore their data. This quickly increased the amount they were spending to manage these infrastructures, and definitely put a big dent into the funds that were originally allocated for disaster recovery. To stop burning through their budgets, IT leaders will take the necessary time to assess which cloud option is truly the best first for them, while also assessing which data, workloads and applications really need to be stored in the cloud versus on-premises."

This view is echoed by Jon Toor, CMO at Cloudian, "While the growth of the public cloud will remain strong, enterprises will expand their adoption of on-premises private clouds in a hybrid cloud model. This will include repatriating data from the public cloud to avoid the bandwidth, latency and cost issues that can arise when accessing such data."

Toor also believes, "IBM's acquisition of Red Hat will reverberate throughout 2019, giving enterprises more options for designing a multi-cloud strategy and highlighting the importance of data management tools that can work across public cloud, private cloud and traditional on-premises environments."

Douglas Brockett, president of StorageCraft sees the repatriation trend too, but believes this will lead to more businesses adopting a hybrid approach. "IDC estimates 40 percent of organizations have moved some workloads and data back from the cloud to on-prem because of cost, performance and continuity concerns. Rather than press pause on the cloudification of data infrastructures, organizations will instead recognize the benefit of a bifurcated or hybrid cloud strategy. Advanced data management will intelligently push and pull workloads to and from the cloud. The blended and intelligent deployment of public and private cloud services will deliver on the promises of unparalleled cost, scale, data management and data protection benefits -- and total business continuity. Public cloud will deliver the cost and scale businesses need as they operate in increasingly virtual environments and adoption of Microsoft Office 365 becomes commonplace in businesses."

The hybrid trend will have a big impact on the industrial Internet of Things according to Sastry Malladi, CTO of FogHorn. "Hybrid- and multi-cloud solutions will dominate the industrial IIoT deployments -- a recent report found that the hybrid-cloud market will reach $97.64B USD by 2023. As industrial organizations look to bring multi-cloud environments together to provide a more cost-effective approaches and flexibility, it will be important for edge solutions to be cloud agnostic. Vendor-exclusive solutions will likely begin to fall by the wayside as companies look for more flexibility and freedom of choice when building their edge-to-cloud environments. Google, AWS, Microsoft, C3IoT, Uptake and other leading cloud providers will establish more collaborative partnerships with edge computing companies to help businesses as they continue to improve and expand their offerings."

The delivery of databases from the cloud will become more common according to Nikita Ivanov, founder and CTO of GridGain Systems. "The database world is rapidly moving towards a database-platform-as-a-service or 'dbPaaS' model in which databases are consumed as a service from cloud providers. I anticipate this trend to increasingly also apply to in-memory computing solutions. In-memory-computing-platform-as-a-service or imcPaaS solutions will enable companies to easily consume in-memory computing platforms as PaaS solutions on major cloud services such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Huawei Cloud and more. We already see leading companies across a range of industries from financial services to online business services to transportation and logistics deploying the GridGain in-memory computing platform on private and public clouds for large scale, mission-critical use cases. In-memory computing vendors are already making their products available as dbPaaS or imcPaaS solutions and I predict those solutions will increase in functionality add new services at an increasing rate in 2019."

Don Foster, senior director of worldwide solutions marketing at Commvault  sees no sign of cloud adoption slowing down. "2019 will be game-changing for cloud adoption in production IT workloads -- globally: Enterprises will continue to pour investment into cloud initiatives, focusing increasingly on technologies and services that enable them to transform the cloud from merely a storage location into a solution that enables new, more agile ways of working. Technology providers will increasingly move to deliver this agility by offering native support for multiple cloud providers and other powerful cloud tools that equip enterprises with a single interface for efficiently, effectively and responsibly managing applications, workloads and data across both on-premises and cloud environments."

Managing and securing cloud environments will continue to be a challenge says Balaji Parimi, CEO of CloudKnox. "Now that most modern enterprises have embraced public cloud, hybrid-cloud adoption will fast-track in 2019. As reliance on public cloud accelerates, the challenges of managing and securing it will highlight the complexity of and lack of visibility into these critical infrastructures. For example, each AWS account operates essentially as its own mini data center and most IT organizations will require multiple AWS accounts to support their respective businesses. Enterprises will have no choice but to refocus their attention on better understanding and harnessing their complex and uncontrolled cloud environments."

Carolyn Crandall, chief deception officer and CMO at Attivo Networks also sees security challenges ahead. "Cloud will become an increased target in 2019 as adoption grows and attackers increasingly exploit weaknesses in shared security models. Cloud providers will protect the infrastructure platform with an increased awareness of hardware-based attacks, however the lack of understanding about how best to secure data in and access to the cloud will leave room for errors and misconfigurations. Adoption of technologies like CASB and deception will grow significantly as organizations seek new security controls designed to address these challenges."

Do you think the experts have it right? Let us know.

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