The subscription model comes to cloud
While we’ve moved long past cloud being the hot industry buzzword, in the last 12 months we’ve seen a significant maturity curve among many of our European customers. In fact, research that we commissioned from Forrester found cloud advancements are driving most businesses’ digital strategy – with 81 per cent of business leaders citing how the migration of existing workloads into private or public cloud environments is a high priority, or a critical business initiative.
The cloud industry is evolving just as rapidly to meet the change in customer demands. From advancements in technologies, to greater reliance on cloud service partners and the whole services consumption model being turned on its head. What does this mean for the industry in 2019? Here are my five key predictions for what to expect in the coming year.
Blocks of services – the new cloud consumption model
The way that businesses consume cloud services will change rapidly this year, reflecting the wider shift towards a subscription economy. Just as many parents add data bolt-ons to their mobile contracts, to help keep the kids entertained during long journeys, organisations have started bolting-on new cloud services to respond to short-term, and more specific needs.
This subscription model (we call it Service Blocks) will go beyond merely enabling users to scale up or down cloud platforms. Cloud service providers are changing their service offering to become more agile in responding to customers’ needs – whether that’s providing ‘Cost Governance as a Service’ or ‘Solution Architect as a Service’ to build complex cloud architectures. Those that ensure the barrier is low to consume these new services will see the greatest success. Six week waits for statements of work are now dead as customers crave flexibility, scalability and customisable offerings, whether that’s in operations, resource requirements or service engagements.
Cloud service providers ‘as a service’
The persona shift for the cloud usage within has changed. We regularly see no less than 18 different stakeholders being part of cloud service requests. While many organisations are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their usage of cloud services, delivering services to these 18 personas takes time and effort – along with the risk of those services proliferating across the organisation without knowledge and control. Therefore, we see the move in 2019 from Cloud Management to Cloud Governance taking centre stage, especially in a multi-cloud world.
Internal organisations responsible for delivering cloud services will focus more on the activities of defining, monitoring, and auditing the policies, processes and product offerings that deliver services to end users. Abiding by cloud service provider standards such as ISO27017 and ISO27018, inside organisations won’t just deliver confidence internally, but they’ll enable access to the required framework to leverage new product offerings from multi-cloud providers with a greater degree of assurance.
Cloud Management has attempted to keep the end users happy, Cloud Governance in 2019 will make your CIO, CFO and CSO smile even more.
Composing the containers is getting easier
I will call it and say that Kubernetes has officially won the battle for containers orchestration. But this battle has left us with some interesting observations. While companies are fully embracing the benefits of containers and micro service architecture, and seeing job postings for Kubernetes talent rise by over 230%, usage of Kubernetes is still very much within software development focussed organisations.
With AWS, Azure, Google and VMware having launched (or launching) their own Kubernetes services, it’ll be interesting to see whether lock-in Kubernetes starts to surface as take up grows or whether multi cloud brokerage can prevail. We’ve all dreamt of moving containers between clouds like a utility, I still dream of moving virtual machines between providers…
Maybe one step at a time and let’s look forward to Kubernetes making further inroads this year.
AIOps maturity curve
AIOps will continue to gain traction next year, with its proven results of leading more operational teams to use analytics at scale. This’ll result in a significant maturity curve, with both existing players and new entrants disrupting the market. The drive to introduce intelligent ops as standard into the operations functions will largely be stimulated by the need for analytics – in particular, predictive analytics – to manage increasingly complex, multi-cloud estates.
The number and range of different cloud services that organisations are using is increasing rapidly. Just think about all the data gathering silently involved in our shopping. Firstly, data is gathered from our behaviour as we walk through the store, use the app, search online for vouchers or price comparisons – while concurrently monitoring stock levels and registering sales when we get to the tills. All this data feeds into a central point to help the store decide what stock replenishment is needed in real time, so there’s no chance of scuffles breaking out over the last bag of Yorkshire puddings – or they can at least notify security in advance!
Data can inform decisions across every function in every business, with different processes requiring different cloud platforms and services bespoke to those demands. Multi-cloud edge management will rise in 2019, becoming a critical business asset as organisations integrate and manage the multi-endpoints which generate this data, as well as processing it into actionable insights.