In less than a decade, cloud computing has gone from being a tech buzzword to a well-established business best practice. By dramatically accelerating digital transformation initiatives, the cloud can help you beat your competitors and better serve your customers.
As 2019 draws to a close, it’s clearer than ever before that cloud computing is a must for businesses of all sizes and industries. RightScale’s 2019 “State of the Cloud” report finds that 94 percent of organizations now use the cloud in some form or fashion. What’s more, 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020, according to predictions from the SaaS performance monitoring platform LogicMonitor.
With just days left before the new year arrives, this is the perfect occasion to look back at some of 2019’s most important trends in cloud computing, and make some predictions about what 2020 will have in store.
1. Outages prove the need for backups
The cloud has a reputation as a stable, secure, and highly available solution—and for the most part, it deserves that reputation. However, even the largest players in the cloud computing industry aren’t immune to sudden outages that can bring your business to a shuddering halt.
In 2019, cloud computing users struggled with major outages such as:
- January: Multiple outages for customers of Microsoft products such as Office 365, Azure Active Directory, Dynamics 365, and Skype.
- March 12: Global outages for customers of Google products such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and Google Maps, lasting roughly 3.5 hours.
- March 13: Outages at Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp lasting more than 24 hours, which some media outlets called Facebook’s “worst outage ever.”
- August 29: Amazon Web Services outage due to a power failure at a data center in northern Virginia, which made 7.5 percent of instances in the US East 1 region unavailable.
The four cases above are just a few of the 2019 cloud outages that created bumps in the road for cloud computing users. Given the unpredictability of these outages, it’s always a good idea to maintain backups of your data and applications.
When backing up your IT environment, the most robust strategy is to create backups both in the cloud (to protect against natural disasters and physical damage) and on-premises (to preserve business continuity during cloud computing outages).
2. Emerging smaller cloud businesses
According to the 2019 RightScale report, 91 percent of organizations are using the public cloud. Public cloud giants like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure still remain dominant forces in the industry.
Yet despite this fact, many companies are finding that smaller cloud providers can be cheaper and more trustworthy than the major players. Small cloud providers are able to compete in this crowded marketplace by offering streamlined offerings, niche and specialty services, affordable pricing, and better attention to customers.
Of course, just because a company is smaller doesn’t always mean that you can expect reliable service. In October this year, for example, new cloud object storage provider Wasabi experienced an outage lasting more than 72 hours, due to excess customer demand in the US East 1 region.
With the dramatic growth in cloud computing, a number of cloud providers have sprung up, some of them higher-quality and more trustworthy than others. NETdepot is a more dependable option with over 20 years of experience offering premium cloud, managed, and dedicated server solutions.
3. Calls for cheaper cloud storage
The convenience and cost-effectiveness of public cloud storage providers like AWS is one reason why so many companies are attracted to their offerings. But once they sign up, these companies often have problems with hidden fees and wasted resources that break their budgetary expectations.
Large public cloud providers like AWS often have expenses such as:
- Compute instances that are unused or underutilized, often because they haven’t been properly terminated.
- Storage volumes that are unused or underutilized, often because they aren’t attached to an instance.
- Using “pay as you go” pricing instead of reserved instances, which can be significantly cheaper.
- Fees for transferring your data off the provider’s servers (while being free or cheap to transfer it in).
With these and other fees, it’s understandable that many companies are looking for cheaper cloud options. This search often brings them to smaller cloud providers such as NETdepot, whose S3 cloud object storage is 80 percent less expensive than AWS.
NETdepot offers new users 5 terabytes of free cloud storage for 6 months. What’s more, storage is at a flat rate of $0.005 per gigabyte. Inbound and outbound data transfers are completely free for up to 100 percent storage usage.
4. More and more digital natives
The term “digital natives” refers to people who have grown up in an era where digital technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones are commonplace. Digital natives (largely millennials and members of Generation Z) are intimately familiar with the use of these technologies, making them “native speakers” in the digital world. The term is often contrasted with “digital immigrants,” people who adopted digital technologies later in life.
As cloud computing becomes more and more mainstream, the “digital native” generation will enter the workforce with preexisting knowledge of cloud technologies. This could be a massive boom for companies looking to move more of their operations and infrastructure into the cloud.
However, organizations also need to ensure that their “digital immigrant” employees aren’t left behind by this shift toward cloud computing. Looking toward 2020, cloud training and education programs will be a vital tool to increase productivity and help older workers adapt to a changing technology landscape. That is why the team at NETdepot is constantly evolving, learning, and receiving new certifications.
5. Changing data center ecosystems
Cloud data centers typically function along two separate poles of technology: hardware and software. In 2020 and beyond, we expect to see these two different functions become more closely fused and integrated.
This integration will enable a number of conveniences and benefits. For example, users will be able to manage their various cloud software and hardware components via a single touchpoint. In so doing, companies will be able to take advantage of automation capabilities for tasks such as updates and patching.
Greater integration between hardware and software in cloud data centers will also help with availability and scalability. Data centers will be able to expand and contract the resources they provision on an as-needed basis, improving efficiency and cutting unnecessary costs.
The 2019 cloud computing trends we’ve highlighted above are some of the most interesting developments we’ve seen in the industry over the past year. What does 2020 hold for you in terms of cloud computing? Let us give you a free assessment to start your year off right. Call 1-844-25-CLOUD to speak with one of our sales engineers today. To keep up to date with the latest cloud trends follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.