Cloud 2019 Predictions with Arun Shenoy
“The diversity of cloud options, and adoption, make integration and security key.”
Hyperscale Cloud platform providers not talking openly about how they use commercial data center infrastructure for quick set up, establishment and accelerated time to value when rolling out regional cloud offerings in new geographies and metros.
2019 will be the year of BYOC – Enterprises will embrace Bring/Build Your Own Cloud. Using a combination of existing on-prem assets, private and hybrid cloud and tools to on-ramp and burst into different public clouds – enterprises will not abandon their data centers but insist on integrating their own cloud architectures on the public platforms for true multi-cloud.
While every organization is “ready for the cloud,” at the department and team level, many groups are struggling with questions, running from the mundane, “Who is paying?” to the complex, “Who put my data where?” Until teams consider planning beyond their current project or quarter, this is only going to get worse.
The latest and greatest language framework is not going to save your project. In fact, if the tools aren’t proven or your team hasn’t used them before, the result may be worse than going with the boring but reliable frameworks.
Internet access is getting cheaper, faster, and more reliable but we still need to build systems that fail gracefully when components go offline.
Microservices are just another approach and not always the best approach. There are two hard problems in computer science: naming things, caching, and off by one error. Microservices include both of them.
2019 will be the year for “Java” for clouds. A cloud agnostic environment for running applications on any cloud without change to the application will be the hot topic. This is not just Kubernetes but a host of PaaS capabilities that are needed by modern apps.
2019: Multi-cloud will become a business imperative for CIOs as it becomes apparent that no one cloud is ideal for all applications. Avoiding vendor lock-in will provide further impetus to businesses to remain cloud-agnostic. Data sovereignty will remain an issue for CIOs and drive adoption of regional clouds.
Organizations will continue to move to cloud-based customer support solutions. Cloud-based solutions expedite digital technology progress at an exponential pace. Think about supporting new products, customers, and locations. Which companies are consumers going to recommend to their friends, family, and co-workers? It will be the companies that have the best customer onboarding, support, and transparency. We believe that the recipe is for non-analog, true digital, cloud-based, multi-channel, auto-scaling support communication platforms. We expect Web RTC to continue to make inroads here. From a deployment standpoint, even large, complex contact centers can be deployed in three to four weeks via a robust cloud service platform, compared to four to six months for legacy technology-based solutions.
Companies will continue to move to a single support center solution. Operating a contact center by combining multiple technologies, e.g., especially different communication channels and services will come with increasing opportunity costs. The longer a contact center relies on different core technology solutions, the greater the gap to competitors with modern single contact center platforms. The single contact center platform offers a variety of growing benefits across several disciplines, including the ability to:
Offer modern customer support experiences via seamless in-session cross-channel support
Optimize agent workflows via cross-channel adapters (i.e., calls, chats, messaging)
More effectively manage agent resources across channels
Visibility into comprehensive cross-channel dashboards, with quick actions to adjust to overall contact center conditions
Apply simplified, deeper and more comprehensive routing logic across all scenarios and channels to reduce time to resolution and leverage skilled agents more effectively
Provide out of the box, cohesive and integrated reporting and business intelligence across the entire suite of contact center operations, including across channels, virtual and human agents
Work towards a single 360-degree customer view by enabling data flows and integrations from the contact center across business units within a company, rather than just within the contact center
Google will figure out how to move Google Cloud into the enterprise, and catch up to Azure in that market.
The cloud and container market is maturing, meaning many core problems have solutions that have been productized. This leaves room for more innovation for peripheral problems, but also makes competition stiff. To counter that, we’ll see market consolidation continue to grow in 2019 as companies with cash fight to expand their market share.
The big cloud vendors will continue adding features that work best when you are “all in” on one vendor (possibly via acquisitions to bring more customers to their platform), leaving a vacuum of vendors that can work across platforms or are independent.
- Customers will use multiple clouds for the foreseeable future, both private and public.
- Fewer than 50% of all applications in the world will ever run on public clouds. The rest will run on private clouds and edge clouds.
- Only about 5 viable general-purpose public cloud vendors will survive. This is because successful public cloud vendors will need to spend a lot of money, and few can afford to spend as much as the Top 2 — AWS and Microsoft Azure.
- There will also not be very many viable private cloud options. Building all the software for a full private cloud stack (such as VMware) is non-trivial, not many will do it successfully.
- There will be big opportunities in cross-cloud software and services – services that work seamlessly across multiple private and public clouds. Examples include monitoring services (e.g. New Relic, Prometheus) backup and DR services (e.g. Veeam), container management and orchestration services (e.g. Red Hat OpenShift, Pivotal PKS), and the like.
- Public and private clouds will be much more accommodating of each other. More and more of the services provided by a public cloud vendor, such as their AI services, will become accessible to apps running elsewhere, including on private clouds. At the same time, there will be more and more examples of private cloud capabilities extended to the public cloud – such as VMware Cloud on AWS. Finally, federated orchestration and management of workloads across private and public clouds, all from a single, easy to use portal will be commonplace.
- The two most successful programming paradigms of the future will be microservices (which structures an application as a collection of loosely-coupled services) and serverless (where applications are structured as a collection of event-driven actions).
Cloud services have come a long way, from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), via Platform and Software as a Service (PaaS/SaaS), all the way to Serverless computing. Now we see the rise of Function as a Service (FaaS) that abstracts many layers of production. While these services are not without their downsides, they are convenient, cost-effective and allow vendors to concentrate on the important things. With these services offered now by giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, we can expect this trend to continue.
In the coming year, we will continue to see increasing adoption of cloud services (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS) and cloud-based security services (e.g. SIEM as a Service, IDaaS, Secure web gateway).
Moreover, the base security risk in the cloud will become more palpable. We may have our first major cloud breach where the company blames the cloud provider. Base security given by cloud providers is just that, base level, but the extent of security is really the responsibility of the organization using the platform. CISOs will have to develop new strategies to manage efficiently the cyber risks associated with cloud adoption and migration. If enterprises don’t start assuming their role in security we will be seeing more and more breaches.
Ironically, staffing shortages faced in security could be exacerbated further by the move to the cloud, as this requires very specialized skills that are in high demand and short supply. In 2018, organizations didn’t fare very well when it came to finding people with cloud skills. Individuals with these skills are not only hard to find but also in demand and thus very expensive. We’ve noticed a trend in companies outsourcing to consultancy companies to meet their demand, rather than trying to find and hire them in-house. Kudelski Security has skilled employees in this area in our CTO office. In 2019, we expect this trend to continue, but more individuals are obtaining AWS and Azure certifications to take advantage of being in-demand and garnering higher-paying jobs, so as we move into 2020 and beyond, the resources are likely to become more readily available.
GCP under new leadership will be the one to watch out for. While developers are good entry points in an organization, a strong enterprise sales team is needed to navigate the challenges of cloud migration.
IBM Cloud Data Shield and Azure Confidential Cloud both enable a new level of security to cloud applications, protecting them even from operating systems, cloud providers, and infrastructure threats. Will these services finally convince the “cloud holdouts” to bring their sensitive applications to the cloud?
Cloud management and control is going to be important. Before, it was “move to the cloud at all costs.” In 2019, the “at all costs” part will go away, and cloud waste management will become more important.
I don’t see a significant change in global cloud trends in 2019, maybe an even greater focus on keeping data in-country and specifically “out of the US,” as the geopolitical environment heats up even more. Don’t expect AWS to go away, as it is still growing faster than all other cloud providers combined. It is good to have healthy competition and having Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM be more viable is good for the industry. The growth of Azure specifically will bring more cloud success in Europe.
More organizations will migrate aggressively to the public cloud and build net-new applications there. Whether workloads are in the public cloud or on-premises, IT teams increasingly will seek a platform that moves away from “static” resource allocation to “dynamic” resource allocation – which means automatically scaling, dynamic routing, functions as a service and other “serverless” technologies.
A couple of strong trends come to mind. One is the ever-growing performance requirements for IT infrastructure driven by increasingly powerful, and hence resource hungry, lines of business apps. Just as we need to keep upgrading our mobile phones to support new/updated apps and OSs, organizations have to do the same from an IT perspective. In terms of which verticals are demonstrating demand to upgrade their infrastructure overall, regardless of driver, they are government and other non-profits. The reason is simple – they tend to have the greatest differential between state-of-the-art and what they have currently, i.e. often times outdated on-prem infrastructure.
In the channel, there are other trends at work. One is consolidation in the managed services provider (MSP) space, just as happened in the past with VARs. Relatedly, there is movement from tangential spaces such as MPSs and MSSP moving into MSP services, due to a desire to expand their offerings and customer/revenue base. And MSPs are continuing move from break-fix activities onto higher-value, and hence margin, services – that this shift is reaching now down to the smallest of MSP. For them, it is not a matter of when anymore but how, and how soon.