In the era of digital transformation, enterprises in Asia are under immense pressure to adapt to changes quickly and deliver exceptional customer experiences while reducing operational costs. Since cloud can help organizations achieve those goals, enterprises are ramping up their investment on cloud technologies such that IDC expects them to spend 40 percent of their core IT budget on cloud-related solutions by 2022.
But what exactly should enterprises spend on in order to extract the full benefits from cloud? Here are four cloud computing trends for 2019 that could help guide their spending decisions:
1. Hybrid cloud becomes a reality
Although the public cloud, private cloud, and on-premises infrastructure can each stand on their own, combining those different infrastructures into a seamless architecture (i.e. hybrid cloud) will generate more value for an organization. With hybrid cloud, enterprises will be able to choose the optimal mix of performance, cost, reliability and security for each and every application in their organization.
While vendors have been promising hybrid cloud since the dawn of cloud computing, 2019 will be the year that reality catches up with the hype. Major milestones in the cloud space – such as the delivery of VMware on AWS, AWS Outpost, and modern private cloud delivered-as-a-service on- and off- customer premises – combined with container technologies will finally enable companies to develop, operate and manage applications consistently across various environments.
These developments will drive up hybrid cloud adoption to the point that 90 percent of G1000 organizations will be on multi/hybrid cloud by 2024.
2. Cloud governance to take center stage
As enterprises become increasingly sophisticated in their use of cloud services in order to accelerate innovation and service delivery, it is driving up the number of cloud personas. It is not uncommon today to see at least 18 different stakeholders being part of cloud service requests, and this is causing IT teams to spend a lot of time and effort to fulfill those requests. Case in point: 64 percent of IT professionals in Asia Pacific said that they are spending more time than expected on managing backend operations since adopting cloud. To make matters worse, IT teams that are slow to respond to cloud service requests run the risk of shadow IT, wherein business users deploy cloud services without the IT team’s knowledge and control.
We foresee IT teams shifting their focus from cloud management to cloud governance this year to free up their time for higher value tasks. They will therefore focus on activities that require them to define, monitor, and audit the policies, processes and product offerings that deliver cloud services to end users. By ensuring that the cloud services offered abide by the global and country-specific cloud standards such as the ISO27018 and Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) Singapore Standard (SS) 584 respectively, end users will have greater assurance and confidence to leverage new product offerings from multi-cloud providers to innovate faster.
While cloud management has attempted to keep the end users happy, cloud governance in 2019 will make your CIO, CFO and CSO smile even more.
3. Kubernetes will become the default solution to container management woes
According to 451 Research, the global application container software market will experience a 40 percent growth to reach nearly US$3 billion by 2020. Since containers can help shorten the app development lifecycle and enable apps to be portable across environments, businesses are rapidly adopting the technology to be more agile and responsive to business changes.
However, containerizing apps may cause headaches for the IT teams of companies with a large portfolio of apps as they might end up with way more containers than a human team can feasibly monitor and manage. To counter this, organizations are increasingly adopting container orchestration tools such as the Google-created Kubernetes to automate deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. To illustrate the popularity of such tools, the adoption of Kubernetes in Asia Pacific rose by 58 percent in just seven months last year, while global job postings for Kubernetes talent rose by more than 230 percent last year.
In addition, major cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and VMware have recently launched their own Kubernetes service. While we believe that Kubernetes will make further inroads in 2019, it will be interesting to see whether such lock-in Kubernetes will gain traction or whether the multi-cloud brokerage can prevail.
Cloud is no doubt the backbone of smart cities and digital enterprises. Without cloud, connected devices and systems will not be able to obtain and share data, which prevents an enterprise or city from making informed decisions. However, not all devices and systems use the same cloud platform and services. As such, we foresee an increased uptake of multi-cloud edge management tools as those tools will help integrate and manage data from the various endpoints, as well as process and turn it into actionable insights.
Driven by digital transformation, more and more enterprises are moving to the cloud with the aim of gaining the capabilities that will empower them to become successful digital enterprises. However, IDC found that 85 percent of the Asia Pacific organizations are still in the early stages of cloud maturity, wherein they are using cloud for ad-hoc digital initiatives to reactively counter threats. To truly transform the business and capture new opportunities in the digital age, enterprises will need to leverage hybrid cloud, cloud governance, as well as container orchestration and multi-cloud edge management tools to deliver more consistent, standardized and available automated cloud resources.
Ali Azarian is sales director for South Asia, Rackspace