Predictions 2020: cloud computing

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Trends, technologies, key topics, and issues around cloud computing that will shape up 2020

Ramanan Ramakrishna
   Ramanan Ramakrishna

Cloud computing has been one of the key technologies defining digital transformation over the last decade. First unveiled in 2006, and launched as service by tech giants including Google, Amazon and Microsoft in 2010, cloud computing is still evolving after the initial rush to adopt IaaS. Does this sound surprising to you?

Our cloud expert, Ramanan Ramakrishna, predicts 2020 will witness hyperscale cloud alliances and cloud-led innovations which will fully re-imagine the possibilities of the cloud and bring many opportunities for organisations all around the world.

Multi-cloud is set to be the norm for the next decade

More and more cloud vendors are working to connect their cloud solutions to each other, allowing clients to split their workloads and data on different clouds, and run the different layers of their business operations on whichever cloud best supports them.

2019 saw the agreement between Oracle and Microsoft as one such surprising example that has shifted the battleground, bringing two competing players together. This cloud interoperability partnership combines Oracle and Microsoft technologies to support different lines of business and mission-critical applications. Customers can now migrate to the cloud or build new applications leveraging the best of Oracle Autonomous Database and the innovative services of Microsoft Azure, with seamless interoperability.

This agreement has set an example in the market and is moving other vendors to integrate their cloud services as well, bringing frenemies closer together and expanding the reach of incumbents. Ramanan predicts this to be one of the biggest trends shaping the market in 2020 and beyond.

Microsoft ends an era of proprietary

In 2019, Microsoft introduced Azure Arc that will let customers use its Azure cloud tools on competing services. Arc will let developers deploy workloads from competing cloud providers and manage them on Azure. This announcement from Microsoft brings in the next evolution of their strategy of being more open and is encouraging cloud providers to announce partnerships with competitors, so customers can choose the technology that works best for them rather than being forced to purchase bundles.

This move establishes Microsoft as a mainstream player in the wider market beyond Azure, a trend Ramanan feels will be followed by other major cloud providers in the very near future

Microservices mainstream, Serverless gains its momentum

Serverless computing or function as a service (FaaS) is an increasingly popular way of building, architecting and developing cloud-native applications that shift the operational burden to the cloud provider. With this technology, businesses don’t need to worry about provisioning and maintaining servers when putting code into production.

The last 2 years have seen a massive increase in applications architected with the microservices framework. We predict that the evolution of serverless computing will pick up in 2020, with every organisation expected to adopt serverless computing for some functions in production, a big step ahead from 2019 where organisations were still trying to learn about this paradigm.

Furthermore, serverless computing is expected to be adopted in a multi-cloud environment. This could prove to be a bold step in the advancement of cloud as a technology since the maturity of serverless computing in hyper-scale environments is different and complex.

Hyperscalers getting a greater spend share

In line with what we have seen over the last couple of years, 2020 will continue to see huge spending on hardware purchases for the cloud. However, the balance of who gets that money will change this year.

Currently, businesses tend to spend relatively equally with both customer data centres and hyperscalers. Moving forward though, this balance will change in favour of hyperscalers who are likely to win a greater market share and 2020 could be the year of the tipping point.

This will also have an impact on the semiconductor industry, causing a rebound in its growth

Open source becomes stronger

Open-source software is growing in popularity among enterprises, as an increasing number of organisations are integrating open source solutions into their IT operations or even building entire infrastructure around it.  As organisations continue to migrate their operations to the cloud, open-source will play one of the key parts in IT innovation beyond 2020. The acquisition of Red Hat by IBM and Pivotal being bought by VMWare is symptomatic of what could happen to other open-source providers in 2020.

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