The Three Real Cloud Computing Trends of 2018

07.25.18
CloudHealth Tech Staff

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The deeper you look into cloud computing trends, the more you realize they are generally of little relevance. For example, if 51 percent of businesses plan to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy in the next year, how does that influence your business decisions? If 38 percent of businesses run apps in 3 or more clouds, does this mean your business is lagging behind or racing ahead? What does it matter?

What does matter is that your business operates with the infrastructure that best suits it. Whether or not that involves adopting a hybrid cloud strategy or running apps in more/less clouds is dependent on the best operating strategy for your business. In this respect articles reporting cloud computing trends can give you some ideas for the future, but they are not the basis for critical business decisions.

Cloud computing trend

Here are three cloud computing trends you need to know.

Are Cloud Computing Trends Reliable Anyway?

This is quite an important point. Typically, the surveys on which cloud computing trends are based have relatively small sample sizes. This means a change in strategy by ten or twenty large businesses can be reported as “a significant move” away from one business model to another. It is also worth considering that statistics to support cloud computing trends are frequently compiled with an agenda as their goal.

These statistics are then often used as the basis for cloud computing predictions, which—if the source statistics are unreliable or biased—can be way off the mark. The issue is magnified by multiple websites repeating cloud computing trends, statistics, and predictions as if they were irrefutable. Unfortunately, these unintended “hype cycle” misrepresentations often hide the real cloud computing trends.

The Real Cloud Computing Trends of 2018

You do not actually have to look very deep to find the real cloud computing trends of 2018, or the facts to support them. However, because the trends could be perceived as negative, they are not as widely reported as (say) a price cut, a new generation instance, or the launch of a new region. However, the real cloud computing trends of 2018 are likely to affect every business operating in the cloud sooner or later.

The Growing Shortage of Suitable Cloud Skills

The shortage of suitable cloud skills has been growing for several years and has now developed into one of the most serious cloud computing trends of 2018. As the cloud quickly grows in complexity, and more specialized skills are required, a search on any of the leading job portals (LinkedIn, Indeed, UpWork, etc.) reveals tens of thousands of unfilled vacancies. This issue is going to result in several consequences:

  • Businesses will have to pay more for specialized skills and work harder to retain the skills they have.
  • Businesses will have to invest in retraining existing talent with no guarantees their existing talent will stay once retrained.
  • Businesses will have to pay more for retraining as the demand for training increases and the supply of trainers decreases.
  • Business without the resources to cover the additional operating expenses of recruitment/retraining will fail to remain competitive.

An Increase in New-Breed Cloud Security Threats

In January, researchers revealed a vulnerability in most modern microprocessors that allows data to be read from memory using malicious JavaScript code. Dubbed Spectre and Meltdown, the two new-breed cloud security threats permit side-channel attacks by breaking down the isolation between applications. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google were quick to release patches, but security experts claim the patches only make it harder for the vulnerabilities to be exploited and do not resolve the problem completely.

In the cloud, where the same server or kernel could be providing a service for multiple businesses, all an attacker has to do to exploit the vulnerability is launch their own instance and run the malicious JavaScript code. The problem will not be completely resolved until all the vulnerable microprocessors are replaced in CSPs` data centers—a scenario that could take years to complete, by which time more of these new-breed cloud security threats are likely to be discovered.

More Money being Pumped into Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a double-edged sword. Already in common use for optimizing digital advert placement, AI can accelerate data analysis and simulate real-time scenarios in order to facilitate better-informed decision making. The investment in AI projects is massive. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM have poured billions of dollars into building data centers capable of processing huge amounts of data, and the AI-as-a-Service industry is expected to double in value over the next twelve months.

However, the growth of AI-as-a-Service creates three negative consequences, two of which—skills and security—have already been mentioned. AI software is only going to be as good as the developers responsible for programming it, and a shortage of suitable cloud skills will not only limit the potential for AI but also likely result in more new-breed cloud security threats. This is turn will result in the least popular of all cloud computer trends—more regulatory compliance.

Dealing with the Cloud Computing Trends that Matter to You

With regard to most cloud computing trends, although it may matter to Andy Jassy, Satya Nadella, and Diane Greene how their respective companies carve up the cloud computing market, it matters very little to anybody else—provided all three companies stay in business and no one cloud service provider develops a monopoly. There are some cloud computing trends, however, you need to take notice of.

The growing shortage of suitable cloud skills and an increase in new-breed cloud security threats are cloud computing trends that—individually and as a consequence of Artificial Intelligence—will affect every business sooner or later.

CloudHealth is a leading cloud management platform that performs many of the tasks that would be undertaken by a skilled cloud computing specialist. We analyze your data to optimize cloud resource utilization, identifies cloud security risks, and provides complete visibility over all your cloud accounts in order to improve governance, decision making, and regulatory compliance.

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