Big Data Professionals Give 11 Predictions for Cloud’s Evolution in 2020

The cloud was on everyone’s mind this past year; with so many questions rising surrounding how to secure cloud environments to what type of cloud is best for the organization.

Cloud computing has revealed countless new dimensions to IT. There are public clouds, private clouds, distributed clouds, and hybrid, multi-cloud architectures.

An actual hybrid cloud will allow for large and small and critical and casual workloads to be seamlessly transitioned between on-premise private cloud infrastructure and any public cloud employed by any organization based on whatever criteria a customer architects. The current output of new technologies has this space exploding with possibilities.

Here, executives of leading companies offer 11 predictions for what's ahead in 2020 for cloud.

The “Cloud Disillusionment” blossoms because the meter is always running: “Companies that rushed to the cloud finish their first phase of projects and realize that they have the same applications they had running before that do not take advantage of new data sources to make them supercharged with AI. In fact, their operating expenses actually have increased because the savings in human operators were completely overwhelmed by the cost of the cloud compute resources for applications that are always on. Ouch. These resources were capitalized before on-premise but now hit the P&L.” - Monte Zweben, CEO, Splice Machine

Multi-cloud strategies increase the demand for application management tool adoption: “Multi-cloud strategies are here to stay. Companies are increasingly adopting more than one platform—either for financial leverage or to create a time-to-market or feature “race” between the platforms. To remain competitive, public cloud providers must offer unique features or capabilities differentiating them from competitors. This has created an upsurge in new and more complex technologies, increasing the need for application performance management tool adoption. 2020 will bring an ever-increasing demand for APM tools and services.”- David Wagner, senior manager, product marketing – application management, SolarWinds

The Rise of the Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure -- Putting the Right Data in the Right Place: “Today when people refer to the cloud, they usually mean the “public” cloud.  In 2020, the term “cloud” might become more nuanced as private clouds rise in popularity and organizations increasingly pursue a hybrid cloud storage strategy. Organizations with large-scale storage needs—such as those in healthcare, scientific research, and media and entertainment—face unique challenges in managing capacity-intensive workloads that can reach tens of petabytes. Private clouds address these challenges by providing the scale and flexibility benefits of public clouds along with the performance, access, security and control advantages of on-premises storage. In 2020, we’ll see more organizations taking advantage of private clouds in a hybrid cloud infrastructure – storing frequently used data on-prem while continuing to utilize the public cloud for disaster recovery.”- Jon Toor, CMO, Cloudian

Best-of-Breed cloud is coming – under the name of Hybrid: “Public cloud vendors have extortionately high prices. The public cloud makes sense for small-and-medium sized businesses. Those businesses don’t have the scope to amortize their engineering spend. Public clouds don’t make sense for technology companies. Companies like Bank of America have gone on record as saving 2 billion dollars per year by not using the public cloud. A best-of-breed architecture envisions building blocks within the technical stack, then selects not from a single cloud vendor, but from the variety of service providers. Assumptions that a given cloud provider has the lowest or best prices, or that the cost of networking between clouds is prohibitive, becomes less and less true.” - Brian Bulkowski, CTO at Yellowbrick Data

Organizations will grapple with scaling multi-cloud, hybrid, edge/fog and more: “In 2020, in-memory computing will disrupt both NoSQL and traditional database technologies, and streaming analytics will emerge as the preferred approach for data integration. Low-latency in-memory platforms for streaming will define a new paradigm for performance in this space, further disrupting traditional approaches. Multi-cloud will also emerge as the preferred strategy to build and integrate applications. In response, enterprises will increasingly need to support and scale multi-cloud, hybrid cloud and edge/fog, and turn to new approaches to achieve real-time machine learning at enterprise scale.” - John DesJardins, VP of solution architecture & CTO, Hazelcast

More enterprises will have production cloud data lakes. “With the maturation of the technology stack overall and more ML frameworks becoming mainstream, the cloud data lake trend, which began a few years ago, will continue to accelerate. We’ll see more enterprises with production data lakes in the cloud running meaningful workloads for the business. This trend will pose more pressure on the data privacy and governance teams to make sure data is being used the right way.” - Okera CTO and co-founder, Amandeep Khurana

The biggest advantage presented by modern cloud technology is the ability for small to mid-size companies to level the playing field:  “Thanks to the cloud, organizations no longer require the assets previously required to implement enterprise solutions and technology – large budgets, massive server farms, and a workforce dedicated to maintenance. Typically, when organizations want to implement new tech, they analyze the infrastructure cost associated to determine what is fiscally possible. Instead, organizations that want to harness the benefits provided by the cloud should start by defining strategic objectives and recognize that the cloud is going to provide access to solutions and new technology at a fraction of the on-premises cost. Don’t let infrastructure costs be the impeding factor to implementing new tech. What the cloud now does is disintermediate the bar of access to, and drive adoption of, new technology. This is why the cloud growth line has been exponential, not linear. So, in 2020 and beyond we can expect cloud to be a huge asset that will allow small to mid-size businesses to get access to the same solutions, information, and data that was only before available to large enterprises.” - Himanshu Palsule, chief product & technology officer, Epicor

Cloud data warehouses turn out to be a Big Data detour: “Given the tremendous cost and complexity associated with traditional on-premise data warehouses, it wasn’t surprising that a new generation of cloud-native enterprise data warehouse emerged. But savvy enterprises have figured out that cloud data warehouses are just a better implementation of a legacy architecture, and so they’re avoiding the detour and moving directly to a next-generation architecture built around cloud data lakes. In this new architecture data doesn’t get moved or copied, there is no data warehouse, and no associated ETL, cubes, or other workarounds. We predict 75% of the global 2000 will be in production or in pilot with a cloud data lake in 2020, using multiple best-of breed engines for different use cases across data science, data pipelines, BI, and interactive/ad-hoc analysis.” - Dremio's CEO Tomer Shiran

IT will begin to take a more methodical approach to achieving cloud native status: “Running cloud native applications is an end goal for many organizations, but the process of getting there can be overwhelming – especially because many companies believe they have to refactor everything at once. More IT departments will realize they don’t need to take an “all or nothing” approach, and a process founded on “baby steps” is the best way to achieve cloud native goals. In other words, we’ll start to see more IT teams forklift applications into the cloud and then implement a steady, methodical approach to refactoring them.” - Chris Patterson, senior director of product management, Navisite

Major Cloud Providers Will Find a Bullseye on Their Backs: “As more and more organizations move their critical systems and data to the cloud for efficiency, scalability, and cost reduction, cloud provider infrastructure will increasingly become a high payoff target. A target, that if compromised, could have devastating effects on the economy and national security. In 2020, we believe state adversaries will redouble their efforts to attack cloud systems. Whether the defenses in place will withstand the attacks remains to be seen.” - Greg Conti, senior security strategist, IronNet Cybersecurity

A Meteoric Rise: Cloud Security Adoption to Accelerate in 2020: “The coming year will usher in an even greater adoption of cloud security, with a material change in attitude and organizations fully embracing the cloud. As organizations increasingly access enterprise applications like Box, Salesforce, etc., it’s no longer practical for them to VPN back to the stack to remain secure while accessing these services in the cloud. With this move to the cloud comes countless security risks. Not only will we see more companies jump on the bandwagon and shift their applications and operations to the cloud, but we will also see the security stack move to the cloud and more resources dedicated to securing the cloud, such as cloud councils.” -Kowsik Guruswamy, CTO, Menlo Security