Cloud computing was defined in 2018 by increases in adoption and widespread usage marked by a 35% increase in cloud budgets.
Small businesses are still standoffish about the Cloud despite the vast opportunities it holds.
Platform-as-a-Service, hybrid cloud environments, and cloud managed services will define 2019 as companies look to meet customer needs.
Without a doubt, modern businesses have developed an affinity for cloud computing. Their devotion to technology makes sense for many reasons. Cloud computing eliminates (or at least minimizes) expensive hardware infrastructure, has inherent cost benefits and provides scalability and flexibility that can change the way businesses prepare for spikes in activity during peak seasons.
The appeal of the Cloud should not come as a surprise. The Cloud sector has been gaining traction for the last few years. IDC measured cloud computing trends among technology decision makers in their 2018 Cloud Computing survey and found that the average cloud budget is up from $1.62 million in 2016 to $2.2 million today.” That 35% increase derives from the desire of businesses to leverage many Cloud benefits including driving efficiency, maintaining customer satisfaction, and increasing speed to market.
Cloud Computing Still Has Some Holdouts
Before this article delves into predictions for 2019, it’s important to point out that there’s more than a few businesses that remain reluctant to embrace the Cloud. A Gallup poll from August 2018, reported that only half of small business owners believed up-to-date technology and digital platforms are “an overall plus for their business.” The poll also found that the roughly 40% didn’t think upgrading their small business technology would have a significant impact on business. While these numbers seem a bit staggering in light of general trends, cloud computing does provide ideal opportunities for small businesses. It can provide access to applications and platforms like accounting software, CRM systems, and backup and storage configurations that might have been inaccessible in the past.
Cloud Computing Driven by Expectations
As businesses continue to evolve from traditional business models to greater online interactions, the pressure to deliver IT solutions and user experiences that meet the expectations of employees, customers, and partners will continue to increase. In 2017, as reported by Forbes, Forrester Research predicted that 50% of global enterprises would rely on at least one public cloud platform by the end of 2018. Today, Forrester tells us cloud computing has come of age with 60% of enterprises relying on public cloud platforms, a five-fold increase from five years ago.
So, with the continued interest in the cloud, what can we expect in 2019? Depending on which industry analysts you follow or believe, that answer will vary. There does seem to be some consensus in a few major areas:
Business will have more choices. The industry will see an influx of new cloud services and solutions. In particular, Software-as-a-Service solutions will see significant growth throughout the year. According to KPMG, the fastest growing sector will be in Platform-as-a-Service, which the firm predicts will account for 56% of IT budgets.
Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud will have arrived. Many businesses will come to describe their environment as hybrid/multi-cloud. This can provide plenty of advantages to organizations looking to enjoy the efficiency and effectiveness of cloud solutions. Business will engage more than one vendor like AWS, IBM, and Google but will also look to their private clouds to facilitate their computing environments as well.
Cloud managed services market will grow. As businesses look to reap the benefits of new technologies and new platforms, the complexity of their environments will increase. Weighing this complexity against the need to remain focused on core business operations and achieve high levels of reliability and scalability, the interest in cloud managed services will likely increase. A study by Grand View Research predicts that the cloud managed services market, sized at $23.19 billion in 2016, will grow at an expected CAGR of 15.4% through 2025.
Cloud Will Drive Competitiveness
While we’ll have to wait until the end of 2019, or longer, to see if the above predictions come to fruition, there is certainty that cloud computing will continue to expand and the technology landscape will continue to change. Business leaders will face more significant challenges and will need to find new resources and adopt new business models to remain competitive.