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8 Cloud Computing Predictions For 2016

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While 2015 marked the moment when cloud became the go-to platform for enterprise applications and data, there’s still plenty of maturing to go. Here’s what we expect to see from cloud computing in 2016.

It’s the time of year where we reflect back on the past 12 months and project what 2016 might have in store for us. Let’s do some forward looking and predict what trends we expect to face over the next year in cloud computing.

For many of us, 2015 marked the point when cloud computing matured and became the go-to platform for a large portion of enterprise applications and data. While cost savings haven’t really panned out to be a major factor (oftendue to mismanagement), things like flexibility, scalability, and lower capital expenditures are enticing when compared to traditional in-house data centers.

In 2016, we will likely see improvements of current-generation cloud environments and offerings as well as completely new technologies for application developers to take advantage of. Migration of legacy applications will continue to be a primary cloud focus for IT staff — as will the development of brand new applications optimized to operate within cloud environments. And in both cases, security will be a consistent and important theme.

Another common theme that we’re predicting is that previous challenges and roadblocks that once prevented apps from being deployed into the cloud will no longer be such burdens. For the most part, any application that you can think of will be able to be run within a cloud environment. This will be a huge step for many organizations that have been unable to take advantage of cloud benefits due to regulatory or compliance restrictions.

Last, certain trends in cloud architecture such as containerization and hyper-convergence will become much more common in 2016. This will be due to changes in application designs, IoT growth, and the speed at which cloud providers need to address customer requirements. Next-generation solutions will demand a next-generation cloud.

Please click through the follwing pages to see our eight cloud predictions for 2016. Afterward, let us know how accurate you believe our predictions will be. Do you think we’re spot on — or is our crystal ball way off the mark? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Hybrid Clouds Become The Next-Gen Infrastructure Foundation

While hybrid clouds saw tremendous adoption rates in the enterprise this year, in 2016 hybrid will become the new normal for enterprise infrastructures. Gartner’s Ed Anderson recently said, “I start to think of a multi-cloud environment as a foundation for a next wave of applications.” I tend to agree.

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Security Will Continue To Be A Top Concern

For businesses that entered the world of cloud computing early, the first apps and data they moved into the cloud usually did not contain or access mission-critical data. But as cloud usage continues to grow at a rapid pace and organizations warm up to cloud security, companies are looking to realize cloud benefits in a much broader range of applications. This includes applications that create, work with, and access sensitive data. Where there’s sensitive data, there’s a heightened sense of data security.

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Cloud-Native Apps Become The Norm

According to Forrester Research, we are on the cusp of a second wave of cloud computing. While the first wave focused on meeting IT’s needs from a network/compute infrastructure perspective, the second wave is application-focused. Cloud providers are now focusing on how to provide services for next-gen applications that require things like time-based analytics, omni-channel support, and microservice support.

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Barriers To Entering The Cloud All But Disappear

Enterprise organizations that were unable to move services to the cloud due to strict compliance requirements or regulations will find that most of these barriers to entry will disappear. Governments are adjusting rhetoric to become more cloud friendly, while cloud providers are offering moreservices that satisfy regulation/compliance requirements.

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Containers Become Mainstream

In a recent report listing the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2016, Gartner discussed the importance of containers and their importance to next-generation cloud applications. As Gartner phrased it in its announcement, “containers are emerging as a critical technology for enabling agile development and microservice architectures.” So as our applications become a series of microservices that are stitched together, the demand for container platforms to run and maintain microservices also increases.

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Movement To Cloud Data Storage (For Security Purposes)

According to research firm Markets and Markets, the cloud storage market “is expected to grow from US $18.87 billion in 2015 to US $65.41 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.2%.” Considering how prevalent and lucrative ransomware is becoming, cloud storage is looking like more of a bargain to many organizations, if only to protect against security threats.

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IoT Becomes Relevant

IoT showed some promise in 2015. But in 2016, the momentum will really start to pick up. Gartner estimates that IoT devices will increase a whopping 30% in the coming year. According to the research firm’s estimates regarding IoT spend in 2016, “enterprise will account for the largest spending.”

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Hyper-Converged Cloud Platforms To Keep Up With The Speed Of Growth

The chances that your service provider’s next-generation cloud architecture will be built on a hyper-converged platform will be quite high in 2016. Because there is such a large demand for cloud services, providers are looking to hyper-converged platforms to speed up scalability and reduce maintenance costs. IDC researchers predict that hyper-convergence spending will nearly double from $806.8 million in 2015 to nearly $1.6 billion in 2016.

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Conclusion

While I don’t have a time machine that enables me to predict with certainty what the state of the cloud in 2016 will look like, these eight trends that have taken root in 2015 seem to have tremendous momentum moving into 2016. Will my predictions come true? We have a year to find out.

(Image: DMC Delorean)

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the … View Full Bio

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