2021 Cloud Predictions - Part 2
January 21, 2021
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Following up the list of Application Performance Management Predictions, APMdigest also asked IT industry experts for their 2021 cloud predictions. Part 2 covers a variety of cloud issues.

Start with: 2021 Cloud Predictions - Part 1

PANDEMIC DRIVES CLOUD MIGRATION

The disruption brought about by COVID-19 has seen the acceleration of cloud adoption, with 91 percent of enterprise IT environments now relying on cloud solutions. We can expect the cloud's popularity to continue to grow because of its proven track record with businesses, who have successfully used the technology to rapidly respond to issues with targeted solutions. As adoption continues to accelerate among enterprises, hybrid, multi-cloud environments in particular will be a critical focus area. These technologies will offer the capacity needed to provide businesses with speed, control and security, as they prepare themselves to better work and operate with the cloud.
Avishai Sharlin
Division President, Amdocs Technology

The move to cloud and SaaS will accelerate. As IT teams get their budgets back, digital transformation projects such as the move to the cloud or SaaS will accelerate in 2021. With most people not working from a physical office anymore, traditional data centers will officially become a thing of the past. It is no longer just the cost justification that encourages companies to make the move, but the fact that they have no physical personnel to staff a physical data center. This will create a mass exodus to the cloud.
Adi Mendel
Director of Product Management, Aternity

Migration to the cloud will become a must-have in 2021. In 2020, we saw businesses challenged as their workforces shifted to remote overnight. The pandemic became a catalyst for organizations to shift from on-prem software solutions and turn instead to the cloud in order to survive. Educational institutions and local governments — long-standing holdouts in the shift to the cloud — will finally realize they must create a roadmap to making this transition possible. In 2021, we'll see that even highly regulated industries can deploy cloud services quickly and securely to drive new business models and innovation. Business processes will be the first thing to go to the cloud, because it allows for quick deployment and versatility.
Thomas Phelps
CIO, Laserfiche

As we enter into a new year, cloud and serverless technology will play a vital role in adapting to a pandemic-focused world. With employees more spread out than ever before, IT teams will rely on cloud infrastructure to help manage information in a more streamlined way. Leveraging cloud will allow for employees to easily access and share data, while also enabling IT teams to better manage the IT systems by keeping information in one central location without the need for physical servers. With the shift toward remote work becoming more permanent, cloud and serverless technologies will help IT teams better support the workforce, regardless of location.
Mike Fuhrman
COO, Cloud and Managed Services, Flexential

CLOUD REQUIRED FOR SURVIVAL

Cloud adoption will continue to accelerate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The greatest evidence has been seen in the boom of SaaS companies, which reflects increased usage because of particular needs that developed due to restrictions created by the pandemic. There was suddenly a prominent need for new services that had to be cloud hosted. With that momentum, we can see that cloud computing, and particularly serverless computing, is inevitable. It is the future for a large segment of the market. The innovation that is created by companies that adopt cloud and serverless is going to far exceed old legacy ways of working. There will be many companies that ultimately fail because they weren't able to adopt to a cloud computing model fast enough and they will be beaten out by smaller companies that will swiftly surpass them simply by being able to recreate their businesses much faster because they are focusing on value and not infrastructure.
Rodric Rabbah
CTO and Co-Founder, Nimbella

CLOUD DEMOCRATIZES COMPUTING POWER

Cloud is about how companies do computing, not where companies do computing. The public cloud markedly democratizes access to computing. A startup may instantly have access to the same compute power that its biggest competitive has. This is a huge change compared to how things were even a decade ago. 2021 will demonstrate this even more dramatically.
Kerem Koca
Co-Founder, Managing Director, Blue.Cloud

CLOUD RESTARTS AND UPDATES

2021 is the year companies restart and update their cloud journeys. Businesses have been jolted by the need to transform during the pandemic whether they were ready or not. Next year, they'll take a breath to figure out how to be strategic about their cloud strategies and make the necessary adjustments. Truly understanding the digital mandate will be the difference between survival and making the cloud transition happen — or getting weighed down in the past. That's why we'll see cloud restarts and updates as businesses figure out how to implement cloud — including hybrid and multi-cloud — effectively.
Ed Macosky
Head of Product, Boomi

MIGRATING MISSION-CRITICAL APPLICATIONS TO THE CLOUD

As the scalability and flexibility benefits of cloud continue to prove out, companies will consider moving their most complex and mission-critical applications, ERPs and databases to the cloud. Concerns about the ability to meet 99.99% SLAs in the cloud have many companies slow to migrate these essential systems where SLAs only apply to hardware availability. More companies will look to implement sophisticated application-aware high availability solutions to provide the same level of protection for applications and data as they get in traditional on-premises environments.
Cassius Rhue
VP, Customer Experience, SIOS Technology

ESTABLISHING CLOUD MANAGEMENT IN THE PLANNING STAGE

Cloud migration will be the genie that won't go back in the bottle: Enterprises know that cloud migration can help them save money and effort; this trend has been accelerated thanks to the pandemic's impacts. But building the architecture is only 50 percent of strategy — many enterprises overlook how to address day-to-day operations, management and deployment as part of their cloud migration strategy. In 2021, businesses will realize the importance of establishing these processes early in the planning stage. They will also attempt to remain provider-agnostic, avoiding vendor lock-in to maximize their benefits and cost-savings.
Eric Raab
SVP, Engineering and Product , ibi

AI AND ML AUGMENT CLOUD MANAGEMENT

Machine learning and AIOPs will accelerate the management of cloud migration and monitoring. Data from these AIOPs/ML initiatives will require a hi-fidelity approach to de-risk cloud management.
Kash Shaikh
CEO and President, Virtana

This year forced digital transformation into overdrive and this newfound reliance on the cloud will extend far beyond the pandemic. As enterprises continue to migrate their apps, operations and databases to the cloud, the age-old challenge of optimization will be brought to the forefront but more complex than ever before. For enterprises, the flexibility of the cloud and cloud-native code, combined with the rapidity of code delivery brought on by CI/CD practices, makes it nearly impossible to know what to optimize and how to optimize it. The rising number of cloud apps must be optimized continuously to maintain performance while avoiding issues like cost creep (brought on by overprovisioning, unforeseen deployments, mismanaged scaling, etc.), but humans alone can't find the answers at the required scale and speed. That's where AI comes in.
Amir Sharif
VP of Product and Marketing, Opsani

CLOUD ENGINEERING

Cloud engineering will become a key role in software development: Throughout the last decade, software developers have played the biggest role in developing, testing, and deploying new applications and services. However, distributed architectures are changing developer workflows, making infrastructure teams a bigger component in the popular DevOps process of application development. Expect this fundamental shift to change the way organizations approach team dynamics, with cloud engineers becoming increasingly valuable due to their expertise in deploying and managing cloud infrastructure.
Joe Duffy
CEO, Pulumi

CLOUD SKILLS GAP

With cloud adoption advanced, the need for greater skills for cloud and AI technologies will accelerate and create skill gaps that need to be closed in 2022 and beyond.
Kash Shaikh
CEO and President, Virtana

CLOUD SECURITY TAKES CENTER STAGE

Companies are still thinking technology first, not strategy first when it comes to the cloud. This can be seen in every company because the public cloud is still post-its and passwords with no clear-cut answer on who is responsible for cloud security privileges. There is so much great enabling technology in the cloud, but organizations haven't thought through how to properly use it to their advantage. I predict that next year we'll see security and governance take center stage. Everyone thinks of the cloud as a cost-effective and efficient solution, but the key that they're missing is the governance model. This is where the enterprise data cloud comes in and we'll see a realization and shift of focus to security and governance next year. It's simple, if you don't have a strong security and governance system in place, then anyone can access your data and you risk leaving yourself vulnerable to outside hackers or insider threats.
Anupam Singh
Chief Customer Officer, Cloudera

ALL SOFTWARE WILL BE CLOUD SOFTWARE

In 2021, all software will touch the cloud in some way: Today’s most popular IT architectures are quickly moving towards distributed applications, creating a global network of compute and storage to support modern software development. In 2021, expect all developers to have the cloud in mind when building or deploying new solutions and services. Unlike client-server applications that were popular just five years ago, managed cloud services have fundamentally changed the building blocks of app design. As a result, every piece of software, including mobile apps, will soon be defined by their capacity to take advantage of the cloud. All software will truly be cloud software.
Joe Duffy
CEO, Pulumi

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