The Future of Cloud Computing: Top 10 Trends to Watch in 2020

Cloud computing’s past, present, and future are the subjects of countless business and technology discussions—and the upcoming year is no exception. It is the dawn of a new decade of IT innovation, fueled by all the advances made in 2019, with pivotal predictions in what lies on the horizon for the cloud. With Ntirety’s expert cloud insights, examine on what top trends to watch—and start preparing for—in the new year.

1. A Down Economy Will Drive More Automation and an End to Cloud Sprawl

Economics is an eternal partner to cloud computing. Some people predict either a total or selective economic downturn, with businesses increasingly driving processes to cloud technologies and leveraging automation to enable business initiatives and reduce costs. Whether a sustained downturn is inevitable or not, these economics are a natural part of the cloud computing landscape, meaning automation, better cloud technologies, and transformation are inherent business topics. During the 2008 downturn, cloud saw its fastest adoption, and 2020 wil be not much different.

By the same economic token, many businesses will take a hard look at cloud sprawl, seeking strategic consolidations, better management, and efficiencies across multiple products. Reporting, metrics, and contract evaluations should peak under these conditions. Technology leaders will recognize the exposure, waste, and redundancies in cloud sprawl, inviting opportunities to clean things up.

2. More Cloud, More “Hacks”

We all know that the cloud is growing, and the volume of global data is on track to hit 175 Zettabytes by 2025.1 That’s a statistic, not a prediction, but we can be sure that wherever data goes, hackers will follow. As we’ve seen in a number of high-profile security incidents, security issues are less technical than they are exploitative of human error. Knowing this, we can predict that hackers will go after cloud misconfigurations at a more rapid pace.

3. Big Compliance Efforts

We’ve seen case after case where rapid technologies produce compliance and security issues. Touching on cloud growth (and sprawl), a big compliance and governance effort is a certain destiny for many organizations. The first sea of change started when the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules in 2018. Similarly, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. As cloud gains massive prominence in our society, compliance and security will continue to impact the landscape in a big way.

4. Cloud Nomads Will Be Prevalent

Cloud is becoming increasingly strategic, and the consumption of cloud technology is a focal point for enterprises. Cloud usage is growing along with the costs, so it makes sense that organizations will pursue long-term, price-conscious relationships with major vendors, moving workloads from one vendor to the next. The technology is there, but to reach maximum efficiency as well as hybrid innovation, they will have to balance costs, with available skills with risk.

5. Business Agility Will Go Beyond “Cloud-First”

The currency of business agility and innovation centers on nimble cloud characteristics. Uninterrupted global reach, elastic scalability, productivity, quality of service, and resilient architecture are just some of the agile hallmarks of public and hybrid clouds. Cloud acceleration is a certainty, and there will be many organizations that will wish to go beyond first-stage cloud from the gates.

6. Rising Decentralization

The “four walls” concept of security and integrity will inch closer toward becoming defunct. Like a growing number of legacy IT tenets, this strategy is ineffective, insecure, and not scalable. Decentralizing data and application sets from on-premise to instead be spread throughout cloud zones ensures availability and reduces risks. Blockchain technology exemplifies the security value of decentralization by eliminating the risks of centralized administrator control of data that can easily leave the door open for hackers.

7. The Emergence of Cloud Industry Consolidation

2019 saw various brands and products transitioned, merged, and re-emerged with a refreshed business focus, product services, and alignment. 2020 outlooks show that major cloud providers will continue to consolidate, consuming smaller infrastructure players along the way and innovating with new solutions. A new cloud industry is also emerging with the arrival of expert cloud agnostic partners, which provide all the services that implement, manage, and leverage major cloud technologies and innovations.

8. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Meets Blockchain

Converging on a hybrid cloud near you this upcoming year, AI and blockchain technologies are poised to meet. AI has proven its worth in real-world scenarios and it’s the perfect complement to blockchain, which is known for its limitation on scaling and somewhat less-than-real-time nature. Blockchain features immutable ledger benefits and a decentralized nature, so it only makes sense that AI has the potential to fill gaps, enhancing security within blockchain-based applications, scalability, and speed.

9. Cloud Talent Drought

Businesses are going to feel more crunched for the expertise to meet their cloud and IT expansion goals. As technologies continue to evolve at record pace, keeping skill sets up to date will become a challenge, especially on enterprise-scale. Organizations will put IT talent attraction and development higher on their priority list, and many will turn to outsourcing to meet demand—or start putting in consideration for consolidation with other providers to create larger knowledge pools.

10. Hybrid and Edge Clouds for Streaming Media

The use cases surrounding the incredible cloud consumption required by streaming media services all revolve on the delicate balance of intelligent resources, capacity planning, and geographical distribution. As greater quantities of richer media come online for consumption, the benefits of hybrid and edge technologies will save companies significant amounts of money and help the bottom line. The use cases tell a compelling story—one that we will surely hear more of in the upcoming year.

Just the Beginning

As 2020 shapes up to be another incredible year of rapid changes for the IT industry, it is important to keep in mind the necessary resources and know-how to harness the power of the latest innovation. With no signs of slowing down, there are ample opportunities for businesses to embrace evolving technologies to become the future-ready enterprises today.

Is your enterprise prepared for the opportunities⁠—and threats—that are possible in 2020? Schedule a consultation today.