5 Key Cloud Computing Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

Cloud computing trends have witnessed an exponential growth in the recent years. Exploding volume of data from customer-centric websites and mobile applications and the rising need to increase operational efficiency whilst controlling the operational costs are some of the many factors that contribute to the rapid growth of cloud adoption. More and more organizations are rushing to migrate their digital assets to cloud and embrace cloud applications. Building and implementing long term cloud strategies have become a top priority among the enterprises competing in the digital economy. The worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 17% in 2020 to total $266.4 billion, up from $227.8 billion in 2019, according to Gartner, Inc. This year will witness the rapid developments in the cloud computing industry characterized by scalability, security, efficiency and resilience. Here are the top cloud computing trends to watch in 2020 and beyond.

Rise of Hybrid Cloud

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, hybrid cloud is defined as "composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability.”

Every hybrid cloud model is different in its structure and layout, as it is devised to meet the unique needs of an enterprise. This complete cloud solution can be leveraged to combine the high security attributes of private cloud with the easy-to-access features of public cloud so that it caters to a diverse range of use cases and complex deployment scenarios. Leveraging both sides of the equation, a hybrid cloud infrastructure creates a unified, automated, and well-maintained computing environment for business. This would ensure greater flexibility in moving workloads between different cloud solutions according to the dynamic needs and fluctuating costs.

Architecting a hybrid cloud enables organizations to tap advantages of public and private cloud deployments simultaneously. However, its main value lies in facilitating digital business transformation by gaining agility. Businesses of all scales and industries can leverage hybrid cloud solutions to bring application services and data together to gain a major foothold in the competitive market. Complete operational consistency and seamless workload portability of hybrid cloud strategies provide the freedom and flexibility to innovate faster and seize opportunities. Companies operating in finance, healthcare and legal sectors need to operate under extremely specific regulatory requirements and information management standards. Moreover, many applications and services in these industries follow a legacy infrastructure being in place for decades. Extending the existing legacy system or rewriting an entire application would be costly and complex. Hybrid cloud strategies allow enterprises to avail the most cost-effective and innovative solutions without incurring a large capital outlay of moving to a full cloud environment.

Edge Computing Moves to Center Stage

While cloud computing has made it possible to process massive amounts of data, it won’t be an ideal choice for all applications and use cases. Huge amounts of data being sent back and forth from the frontlines of sensors to servers clogs network bandwidth thereby slowing down response times. The answer to address all such limitations associated with traditional cloud computing infrastructure is something called “Edge computing”.

Unlike traditional cloud architecture that follows a centralized process, edge computing decentralizes most of the processes by pushing it out to the edge devices and closer to the end user. Since storage capacity and processing power are decentralized, it would provide precise results for IoT deployments. Making it easier to operate and manage IoT devices, edge computing ensures low-latency access, reduced bandwidth consumption, offline availability and local Machine learning (ML) inference.

Low latency and faster real-time analysis of edge computing have a number of applications across various sectors such as automotive, consumer electronics, energy, health care and more. Autonomous vehicles are a strong use case in point, where data needs to be collected from the surrounding environment and cloud to make decisions quickly and safely. Patterns in sensor data should be detected, stored and transferred quickly to aid real-time decisions at local nodes. Decentralized architecture of edge computing negates the latency in communication of critical data thereby ensuring safety.

Smarter Use of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a game changing technology that has been transforming our world in subtle but sweeping ways. All thanks to the rapid advancements in cloud computing, Machine learning (ML) and Big Data, Artificial Intelligence is all set to touch every aspect of our lives, from cooking to shopping to art. International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that spending on AI and ML is expected to go up to $57.6 billion by 2021. Utilization of artificial intelligence will help humankind to attain business objectives quicker and more effectively. AI powered tools and systems automate repetitive tasks and roles, deliver better customer service and ensure faster production thereby boosting productivity and operational efficiencies. Untapped potential of AI can revolutionize nearly every industryby optimizing their processes and reaping higher revenues and profits. In fact, a Gartner research points out that at least 30% of companies globally will use AI in at least one fragment of their sales processes by 2020.

Artificial intelligence integrated with cloud computing services can help enterprises to gather, store, process and analyse huge volumes of data. This customized blend of technologies can deliver the most connected and intuitive customer experiences. From automating key operations to deeper learning of customer behaviour, cloud computing and AI has the potential to transform businesses at every level.

Containers Take Off

Containers have become a popular choice among the developer community as it ensures less overhead, increased portability and greater efficiency. Container is an executable unit of software, which consists of application code, its dependencies, libraries, binaries and configuration files needed to run the application. Unlike a virtual machine(VM), containers don't need a guest operating system for every instance. Instead, containers virtualize the operating system so that the containers only need an application code and its libraries and dependencies for running an application. Moreover, this allows developers to deploy container-based applications anywhere, regardless of the target environment, whether it be on desktop, private data center or the cloud. Containers in cloud computing assures reliability, consistency and higher developer productivity.

The key use cases of containers can be found in microservices, DevOps, hybrid and multi-cloud platforms, and application modernizing and migration. Many organizations are planning to switch from virtual machines to containers as it supports agile and DevOps efforts to accelerate development, test and production cycles. By 2023, Gartner predicts that more than 70 per cent of global organizations will be running more than two containerized applications in production, up from less than 20 per cent in 2019. Similarly, IDC predicts that 95 per cent of new micro-services will be deployed in containers by 2021. Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration platform developed by Google has become the defacto standard for container orchestration nowadays. Backed by the tech giants like Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Cisco, and Red Hat, this open-source platform is easier to manage at scale.

Quantum Computing is Catching On

As innovation progresses, there will be an increasing demand for ultra-powerful computers to solve unimaginably complex problems. And this is only possible through quantum computing. Facilitating computers and servers to process huge volumes of data at an accelerated pace, quantum computing caters to the need for complex computational systems and solutions. Banking and financial firms have been leveraging quantum computing to increase the speed of transactions, scale their processing with less costs and reduce risks. Since this technology is based on quantum theory, it processes highly complex analytical tasks in parallel and computes much faster with the existing resources. Quantum cryptography is one of the major applications of quantum computing that could be harnessed to confer greater efficiencies, lower fraud, better trading decisions and reduced risks. Security solutions backed with quantum computing can be used to safeguard the security and privacy of critical data.

To sum up, cloud computing will dominate the market in 2020 as well and it will continue to be the platform for emerging technology trends. Do you think we have missed out on something? Let us know in the comment section then!

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