The Stack Archive Feature

Cloud computing in 2018: what the future holds

Thu 14 Dec 2017

Cloud computing is now so ubiquitous that it could deservedly just be called ‘computing.’ As it continues to dominate the entire landscape of technology and computing, it is difficult to assess where it is headed. Those in the know, the industry insiders, give that their best shot here. 

Chip Childers, CTO of Cloud Foundry Foundation


We are shifting to a “cloud-first” world more and more. Even with private data centres, the use of cloud technologies is changing how we think about infrastructure, application platforms and software development.

While it was useful to have the term “cloud computing” as a way to distinguish self-service, API addressable technologies from other models, it is going to become more and more obvious that the “cloud” model is simply how we do IT going forward.

Sarah Lahav, CEO, SysAid Technologies


Most computers will be invisible. There are many more computers in a typical home than most people probably notice. They are embedded in a host of everyday consumer objects: cars, washing machines, light bulbs, toasters, Wi-Fi routers, TVs, smoke alarms, thermostats and the many other devices that already form part of the ‘internet of things’ (IoT).

These devices typically run Linux or some other dedicated operating system, and they already outnumber the things that we think of as computers.

There will be greater adoption of DevOps, with more focus on culture. While the most innovative, cutting-edge IT companies have been enthusiastic about DevOps for quite some time now, for more mainstream organizations, it wasn’t really on the ITSM map.

Recently, that’s flipped. DevOps has gone mainstream, with more and more organizations adopting some of its ideas and methodologies to help them deliver value faster, and at lower risk. Some of these IT organizations focus on the technical aspects of DevOps, and there is certainly a lot of value to be gained from automating the toolchain that integrates and deploys code, resulting in smaller, safer and faster changes to IT.

But organizations that never go beyond this focus on technology will miss out on many of the real benefits to be gained from the DevOps approach. This benefit comes through managing Flow, Feedback, and Experimentation and Learning – the three ways of DevOps; and organizations won’t gain this benefit without doing the work that’s needed to understand the three ways.

Unfortunately, as so often happens when an innovation goes mainstream, some organizations will claim to be “doing DevOps” when all they have done is adopted some of its typical technical features. When this fails to deliver according to expectations, then they’ll decide that “DevOps has failed” or “DevOps doesn’t work.” They’ll then move on to the next popular fad, and will never reap the benefits that come to organizations that see DevOps as a combination of culture, agile, lean, measurement and sharing (CALMS), so introduce and implement technical change appropriately.

Finally, there’ll be more focus on value and customer experience. Traditionally, IT service management has focused on efficiency (reducing effort and cost) and on delivering services to meet the targets laid out in service level agreements (SLAs). Many IT departments have now realized that this is not enough. They have started to focus on ways of increasing their value to the overall organization and of delivering a great experience to their users.

During 2018 this message will spread as many IT organizations move away from traditional SLAs toward a value-driven approach. Organizations that do move in this direction will be rewarded by much higher levels of user satisfaction at a lower cost, which will, in turn, promote an even greater focus on providing value. This virtuous-circle will enable such organizations to accelerate ahead of competitors who stick to more traditional approaches.

Issy Ben-Shaul 2018 cloud predictions – CEO and founder of Velostrata


We will see a large number of enterprises conducting massive migrations of thousands of workloads per enterprise into the public cloud. This is because of: opportunity cost – enterprises realize that if they can shift their resources away from maintaining and managing massive data centres into focusing their resources on their core competency, they would be much more competitive in their respective markets, and eventually more cost-effective as well.

The pace of innovation in infrastructure and services also has an impact. There have been numerous enterprises that followed the above guideline but shifted to hosted data centres (aka private clouds), vs. moving to public clouds.

The public cloud brings important operational efficiencies. The availability of countless new services that can be leveraged by the enterprise, the agility to expand or shrink quickly to keep pace with the needs of the enterprise, and the global presence and scale of public clouds that enables enterprise businesses to run workloads anywhere in the world with reasonable latency.

The majority of enterprises that will migrate to the cloud at scale will employ a multi-cloud strategy. More specifically, they will split their production workloads across more than one public cloud.

Why? Primarily, enterprises don’t want to be locked in. Cost – cloud wars will result in cost wars. If an enterprise can get significant cost reduction on infrastructure, this can mean millions of dollars in savings a year.

Functionality – Different clouds offer different innovation and functionality. Enterprises would like to use best of breed for the different workloads to take advantage of what all clouds have to offer.

Compliance – Some industries (such as finance and healthcare, for example) are mandated to have an alternative cloud to run on. Others just want to make sure they can switch in case of security breaches, outages, or other issues that might affect a specific cloud.

Forward thinking companies and enterprises will utilize a strategy that minimizes or avoids cloud-specific services as these would effectively lock them into the cloud. Instead, look for services that are available on multiple clouds and require minimal migration effort. Or, consider the impact of keeping the service running in its original cloud while running the related workloads on another cloud.

These forward thinking companies will also leverage cloud mobility technologies and architectures and employ techniques that allow for the simple and fast mobilization of workloads across clouds with minimal disruption to downtime or re-configuration/re-write efforts.

Rob Strechay, SVP Product, Zerto


Cloud is here, and it’s here to stay – at this point, that’s basically old news. What is new, however, is the dramatic shift to IT infrastructures cloud is bringing; with new platforms and challenges for the systems development life cycle (SDLC).

I predict that in 2018 dev and IT teams will need to think about the best way to utilise orchestration and data mobility to their full potential. This will be important when it comes to bringing test, development or QA workloads to a public cloud platform or MSP. For example, applications may run more efficiently on Azure, while AWS is a better suit for others. It’s often difficult to know in advance.

If you combine this with the fact that many companies are now demanding a multi-cloud strategy, and do not want to be tied down with one cloud or platform, more organisations in 2018 will adopt solutions that allow for easy and affordable cloud platform testing.

Being able to ‘try out’ other applications on different platforms in a fast, easy and cost-efficient manner will allow organisations to end up with a tailored, multi-cloud strategy that optimises performance in ways that were not imaginable before the cloud boom.

Andrius Ulenskas, Technical Director, Hyve Managed Hosting hyve-bloke

2018 is going to be a year of cloud consolidation. People who host on premises will move to the cloud.

Those who are using the cloud already will realise that managing it is more expensive and difficult than they thought. They’ll opt to move to a managed solution. Sadly, I think a lot of sysadmin roles will go during these changes.

Mat Clothier, CEO, CTO and Founder at Cloudhouse


In 2018, as more organisations begin their move to the public cloud providers like Microsoft and its Azure cloud, we’re going to see others up against the challenge of migrating and modernising non-cloud-native, legacy apps.

Apps have never been more important for business, and this will continue well into the new year; in order to avoid tricky rewrites, however, IT teams need to be thinking about investing in software that can provide ‘lift and shift’ portability for legacy applications without making a single code change.

Nigel Kersten, Chief Technical Strategist, Puppet


2018 will see increased cloud adoption as companies begin to realise that cloud vendors are able to offer more secure and high-performance infrastructure than they can provide for themselves. However, as the fear of vendor lock-in grows, we will also see an increased appetite to use more than one cloud provider.

I believe success for cloud providers will, therefore, lie in the realisation that one solution won’t work for everything, meaning becoming adaptable and flexible for good integration will become a top priority for vendors in 2018.

Looking at the containers market, in 2018 I think that the future holds greater consolidation as Kubernetes continues to entrench its dominance within more successful financial and open source software and more cloud vendors start to standardise on it.


One thing’s for sure – the cloud is taking over!


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