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Popular Cloud Computing Trends That Will Advance into 2017

3 Dec 2016 by Michael Lazar

As 2016 nears its end, we can cap off the year by taking a look at the most prevalent cloud computing trends that helped shape business. Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen greater advancements in computing technology than we have in the 60 years that came before it. This past year was no different.

Culled from a list of notable technology accolades, what follows are the most popular cloud computing trends from 2016. Many of them will advance into 2017 with further innovation, helping to reshape computing as we know it.

The birth of the public mega cloud

The public cloud has been born. It brings convenience and cost-effectiveness to businesses of all sizes, and has been embraced by enterprise-level entities along the way as a form of technology cost control. “CIOs [Chief Information Officers] who initially elected to build private clouds may find themselves switching to public clouds as they realize just how time-consuming and costly the work will prove,” according to CIO.com.

A great example of this is Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the most widely used public cloud services. Companies like Capital One have recently shifted their private cloud infrastructure to mega cloud providers like AWS in efforts to improve security and reduce cost—while also introducing a new level of cloud scalability that’s difficult and costly to control in-house. 

RightScale Infographic about Enterprise Cloud Strategy for 1000 plus employees
RightScale Infographic about Enterprise Cloud Strategy for 1000 plus employees. 3 percent have no plans, 10 percent have single public, 5 percent have single private, and 82 percent have multi-cloud. 14 percent have multiple private, 13 percent have multiple public, and 55% have hybrid cloud.

As the Right Scale infographic above depicts, mega cloud is quickly becoming part of the enterprise strategy, with 82% of companies that have 1,000 or more employees currently using a multi-cloud solution. A staggering 55% of these entities are currently using a hybrid cloud solution, emphasizing a growing hybrid cloud computing trend that will continue to gain momentum well into the future. Gartner predicted in late 2013, that by 2017, over half of all enterprise-level businesses would have a hybrid cloud structure in place. As it turns out, that prediction was accurate.

"Virtualization reduces capital expenses, and standards and automation reduce operational expenses," explained Thomas Bittman, vice president and analyst at Gartner, in his 2013 report. "However, taking the next step of adding usage metrics, self-service offerings and automated provisioning requires investment in technologies without a significant reduction in operational cost. With this in mind, the driving factor for going that next step should primarily be agility." 

Fast-forward to the present day, and the most recent Gartner report is making an even bolder prediction: “By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy. Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years. Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises.”

Bar chart showing Enterprise Public Cloud Adoption.
Running apps, Experimenting, and Plan to Use. AWS: 56%, 16%, 8%. Azure Iaas: 23%, 28%, 13%. Azure Paas: 17%, 24%, 13%. VMWare vCloud Air: 11%, 14%, 9%. IBM SoftLayer, Google App Enginge (PaaS), Oracle Cloud (IaaS), Google IaaS, Digital Ocean.

According to Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner. "Aside from the fact that many organizations with a no-cloud policy actually have some under-the-radar or unavoidable cloud usage, we believe that this position will become increasingly untenable. Cloud will increasingly be the default option for software deployment. The same is true for custom software, which increasingly is designed for some variation of public or private cloud."

In short, the cloud will become the new norm. Companies are shifting their focus to this emerging, cost-effective technology. Those that have been slow to catch up will soon find themselves in the rat race to modernize. This trend is something that will be embraced by businesses of all sizes in 2017 and beyond.

Cloud will dominate IT spending

Interestingly enough, Gartner has also forecasted that cloud computing would comprise the “bulk of IT spending” for 2016. A quick look at the IDC chart (below) paints the real picture of just how much cloud spending has increased year over year since 2013.

Bar Chart showing Worldwide public IT Cloud Services Spending by Segment (in $ billion).
Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service. 2013: $47.4, 2017: $107.2

Between 2013 and 2017, disruptive cloud computing has spurred a spend increase of more than $60 billion. These comprise several hallmarks of the cloud, which include: Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Combined, they are reshaping the software, networking and computing industries by delivering a more reliable, cost-effective and secure solution.

While mega cloud is a trendsetter, hybrid cloud networking is quickly catching up in terms of usage and infrastructure application. Industry leaders like Microsoft, are predicted by Forbes to generate 30% of revenue from hybrid cloud networking, products and related services by 2018. Meanwhile, service and hardware sales are expected to skyrocket from their current annual haul of $38 billion to a projected $173 billion by 2026. As companies move to modernize, hybridize and make their infrastructures more efficient, the most obvious of all cloud computing trends is that IT spending will be hyper focused on cloud-based solutions. 

Bar chart showing Public cloud Infrastrucute as a Service (IaaS) hardware and software spending from 2015 to 2026, by segment (in billion U.S. dollars)
Saas and PaaS portion of public cloud hardware and infrastructure software and Public cloud IaaS hardware and infrastructure software. 2015-2026.

Leading the pack are hybrid cloud providers that deliver these end-to-end solutions for businesses. Unsurprisingly, some of these cloud technology trends and solutions are listed in our article: “4 Small Business IT Solutions and Tech Predictions to Watch for in 2017.”

Ask yourself this reflective question: How prepared is my business for the next generation of cloud technology?

If you are not yet using cloud-based products, you could be missing out on improved efficiency, enhanced collaboration, employee accountability, increased security and reduced cost, to name a few of the many benefits.

Could your business improve efficiency, collaboration and accountability by moving to the cloud? Insight partners with the leading providers of cloud computing technology to deliver end-to-end hybrid solutions. Find out how you can shift to the cloud today by talking to a specialist online, or calling us at: 1-800-INSIGHT