Cloud computing has completely changed the IT landscape for businesses of all sizes, and the industry continues to evolve and accelerate at an impressive pace. In its new report, research firm Forrester identifies 10 key factors that will shape the cloud landscape in 2017 and suggests ways for infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals to plan the best course of action for their organization going forward.
Properly implemented, cloud strategy can benefit both an organization's customers and its internal operations. Below, we'll summarize some of the key findings in this latest report.
Beyond pay-per-use, buyers will save money in cloud many ways. As the market has accelerated and diversified, there have become more ways to deploy, manage, and pay for cloud services. This increased flexibility means that if I&O leaders are willing to educate themselves on the market and the various products available, the potential to find an ideal solution at a great price is very real.
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) will help private clouds get real. Until recently, private cloud environments have been notoriously tricky to build and maintain. With HCI quickly becoming the dominant platform on which to build private clouds, those complications are getting a bit more simple. I&O leaders in need of a new private cloud environment in 2017 would be wise to invest heavy research into HCI.
Size still matters, but the megacloud providers won’t be your only option. Though there is a significant (and growing) gap between major cloud providers like AWS and a slew of smaller players, that gap doesn’t mean that the big players are the best option for everyone. I&O leaders should shop around and consider the potential benefits of a multi-cloud environment.
Lift-and-shift tools will improve to make cloud migration easier. Migrating existing apps to public cloud is becoming more viable, primarily thanks to a host of new tools being developed by megacloud providers. Though pursuing lift-and-shift strategies too persistently can hamstring an organization’s capabilities, researchers recommend employing it situationally.
Hybrid cloud networking will remain the weak link in hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud has definitely arrived, but the management and orchestration tools that will elevate it to its highest potential are not quite there yet. While developers are undoubtedly on the case, I&O leaders should employ a mix of tools available to them.
Enterprises will shun large, complex, and costly private cloud software suites. As cloud has grown into maturity, it has also quickly grown more agile. In 2017, the private cloud market will aggressively shift away from traditional private cloud suites toward leaner, cheaper solutions that include an array of management and support tools.
SaaS will move away from one-size-fits-all to regional and industry solutions. SaaS vendors will diversify from a primarily one-size-fits-all model to fit their solutions to specific industries and uses. I&O leaders should be aware that though the right solution may be out there, they are may end up paying more for something with limited functionality. This is one area to research very closely before making any moves.
Chinese firms will be key drivers of global cloud evolution. Until now, Chinese firms have primarily acted as followers in the cloud revolution. Forrester sees 2017 as the year that changes, with IoT, blockchain, and container security. Forrester recommends that I&O leaders put Chinese ISVs and service providers on their radar going forward.
Containers everywhere will shake up cloud platform and management strategies. The container revolution was started by Docker two years ago, and by early 2017 container technology will be available in every major cloud platform. As container use jumps again, leaders should reexamine their current tools and needs to see if their current infrastructure matches their current needs.
Cloud service providers will design security into their offerings. As more companies continue to push more of their workloads into the cloud, building security around that has become more important than ever before. While most major providers have adequate security measures in place, it will be critically important that I&O leaders understand the security measures they have in place, and that they retain control over them.
To go more in depth into Forrester’s Cloud Predictions for 2017, as well as their recommendations for I&O leaders, download the report in its entirety