All Signs Point to Cloud Optimization

Recently, there has been a growing awareness around the issue of cost control in the public cloud. This is a heartening trend in cloud computing, specifically with regard to the public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market. Now that public cloud has reached a key peak in growth, there’s a common theme. While new services and products continue to develop, more and more of them are focusing on not just creating capabilities that were previously lacking—they’re focused on optimizing what already exists.

Are Cloud Services Still Growing?

Before we dive into optimization, let’s consider how the cloud market continues to grow in 2019 and beyond. Gartner estimates that $206 billion will spent on public cloud services in 2019, up 17% from 2018 as outlined in the table below.
Gartner forecast for cloud services spending

And according to IDC, almost half of IT spending was cloud-based in 2018, “reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure and 60%-70% of all software, services and technology spending by 2020.”

Between Gartner and IDC, no one expects cloud adoption and spending to slow down any time soon. So, what’s driving this growth?

Certainly, public cloud has reached a critical acceptance point, and companies big and small have realized that the benefits of using public cloud infrastructure outweigh any perceived risks – so adoption and migration drive much of the growth. There’s also natural business growth within the environments of companies already using cloud services. But another source of this growth is due to spend that is simply wasted. That’s right: as infrastructure grows in size, some of the efficiency is lost due to resources left idle when they’re not being used, oversized resources, orphaned resources, and choices of nonoptimal purchasing options, leading to greater spend.

It’s due to awareness of spending increases in this last category that public cloud consumers realize the need for resource optimization—and that, in turn, drives the trends in cloud computing that we will see in 2019 and beyond.

The Future Trends in Cloud Computing You’ve Probably Heard About

There is definitely a lot of hype around Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Machine Learning, and AI, as there should be. But at a more basic level, cloud computing is changing businesses in many ways. Whether it is the way they store their data, improving agility and go to market for faster release of new products and services, or how they store and protect their secure information, cloud computing is benefitting all businesses in every sector. Smart businesses are always looking for the most innovative ways to improve and accomplish their business objectives, i.e., make money.

When it comes to cloud technology, more and more businesses are realizing the benefits that cloud can provide them and are beginning to seek more cloud computing options to conduct their business activities. And obviously, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, IBM, and Oracle plan to capture this spend by providing a dizzying array of IaaS and PaaS offerings to help enterprises build and run their services.

How These Trends Make Computing Better

  • Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud: Once predicted as the future, the time of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud has arrived and will continue to grow. Most enterprises (74%) described their strategy as hybrid/multi-cloud in 2018. In addition, 62% of public cloud adopters are using 2+ unique cloud environments/platforms. These numbers will only go up in 2019. Upon examining these statistics on cloud computing, it’s clear that multi-cloud and hybrid cloud approaches are not just the future, they’re the current state of affairs. While this offers plenty of advantages to organizations looking to benefit from different cloud capabilities, using more than one CSP complicates governance, cost optimization, and cloud management further as native CSP tools are not multi-cloud. As cloud computing costs remain a primary concern, it’s crucial for organizations to stay ahead with insight into cloud usage trends to manage spend (and prevent waste). To keep costs in check for a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment, optimization tools that can track usage and spend across different cloud providers are a CIO’s best friend. How it Optimizes: it’s a complex problem, but we do see many organizations adopting a multi-cloud strategy with cost control in mind, as it avoids vendor lock-in and allows flexibility for deploying workloads in the most cost-efficient manner (and at a high level, keeps the cloud providers competitive against each other to continually lower prices).
  • Growth of Managed Services: The global cloud managed services market grew rapidly in 2018 and is expected to reach $82.51 billion by 2025, according to a study conducted by Grand View Research, Inc. Enterprises are focusing on their primary business operations, which results in higher cloud managed services adoption. Business services, security services, network services, data center services, and mobility services are major categories in the cloud managed services market. Implementation of these services will help enterprises reduce IT and operations costs and will also enhance productivity of those enterprises. How it Optimizes: managed service providers—the good ones, anyway—are experts in their field and some of the most informed consumers of public cloud. By handing cloud operations off to an outside provider, companies are not only optimizing their own time and human resources – they’re also pushing MSPs to become efficient cloud managers so they can remain competitive and keep costs down for themselves and their customers.
  • Containers Become Mainstream: Application containerization is more than just a new buzz-word in cloud computing; it is changing the way in which resources are deployed into the cloud. More and more companies utilized containers in 2018. This is a trend that will continue into 2019 and beyond, even though many people are still coming to grips with the concept of application containerization, how it works, and the benefits it can deliver. How it Optimizes: at a development level, containerization allows applications to be developed and deployed faster than ever before. If used efficiently, they can also result in a lower cloud bill.
  • Serverless Computing: The rise of serverless computing, and more specifically Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) such as AWS Lambda, is driven by similar needs as containerization. By removing the need for server setup, deployment, and management, the infrastructure driving computing is eclipsed by the results in generates.  How it Optimizes: since the idea of serverless/FaaS is that you only pay for the infrastructure you actually use, it eliminates wasted spend. Serverless computing also saves time by running many tasks in parallel rather than sequentially. There’s potentially some time savings for developers who no longer need to worry about the underlying infrastructure, too.

Cloud Trends Are Always Evolving

While today, it sometimes seems like we’ve seen the main components of cloud operations and all that’s left to do is optimize them, history tells us that’s not the case. Cloud has been and will continue to be a disruptive force in enterprise IT, and future trends in cloud computing will continue to shape the way enterprises leverage public, private and hybrid cloud. Remember: AWS was founded in 2006, the cloud infrastructure revolution is still in early days, and there is plenty more XaaS to be built.