28 March 2018
We’ve come a long way since Salesforce began paving the way for cloud computing almost two decades ago, with the first example (as it was then) of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Of course, Amazon Web Services (AWS) followed in 2002 and eventually changed the market entirely. However, what started as a disparate set of tools and services back then is a far cry from the on-demand cloud computing platforms it consists of today, offering more than 90 services to individuals, companies and governments.
Developments in cloud have been huge, genuinely changing the way we collaborate and work. But what’s next. And what will the cloud look like in 2020?
While the spread of cloud has been steady since its introduction in 1999, we’ve seen the steepest rise in adoption in recent years – digital transformation being the biggest driving force for most businesses to make the switch.
It’s thought that over half (52%) of enterprises were cloud-first by February 2017, choosing to host more line of business applications and services in the cloud than with on premise infrastructure. And we can only assume that proliferation will continue on the same trajectory. In fact, a report reviewed in Forbes estimates that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.
In the face of such growth, there’s only one way for businesses to keep up with their competitors and deliver the seamless user experience that consumers increasingly expect, and that’s by embarking on a digital transformation that makes the most of all that the cloud has to offer. If you can’t beat them, join them – or so the saying goes.
What blockchain and machine learning mean for the cloud
If 2017 could be described as the year of anything – it’d probably be the year of blockchain. And it’ll be no surprise to hear that between now and 2020, it will be making its mark on the world of cloud computing, coming along to offer an alternative, decentralised kind of solution to enterprise businesses.
Indeed it’s thought that blockchain and cryptocurrency could soon underpin cloud storage, as the ‘emerging blockchain-based distributed storage market…challenge[s] traditional cloud storage services, such as AWS and Dropbox, for a cut of the cloud storage market.’ True to form, we saw the launch of SAP’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) product last year, and we’re bound to see many more before the end of the decade.
Alongside blockchain, machine learning continues to gather momentum and supplement the cloud. By its very nature, machine learning is all about measuring, adjusting and improving performance. So when it comes to the cloud, it will help algorithms be more effective, offering businesses the chance to deliver increasingly seamless user experiences and find greater efficiencies overall. More stable network connections that provide improved business continuity is just one example of the advantages it will bring.
Standing still is not an option
Businesses born in the age of the cloud are likely to be further ahead in their adoption journeys than older enterprises, which is why digital transformation is so essential for the latter. More and more businesses are using the cloud to get even better at what they do, so those who don’t adopt cloud-based solutions will be left behind. In an ever changing, consumer-driven digital landscape, standing still is simply not an option.
To find out more, watch our short film and find out why retail giant Thrifty chose to move its infrastructure to the cloud.
28 March 2018 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.