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Vena Solutions 2018 Predictions: New Year, New Cloud Predictions

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Don Mal, CEO and co-founder, Vena Solutions

New Year, New Cloud Predictions

Ah, December. Time for holiday cheer, time spent with family and friends, and last, but not least, new cloud predictions! This year saw continued cloud growth, teeing up new trends we can expect to see in 2018, including:

1.  Simple, quick collaboration will enhance cloud value for the enterprise.

Empowering easy collaboration is the next benefit offered by the cloud that's ripe for the picking. Today, a huge array of cloud-based collaboration tools are used in offices across the globe - ever heard of Slack, Zenyu, Google Docs or HipChat? These and other tools have become household names.

Vendors are developing more and more third-party apps and add-ons to integrate with such tools. Consider task management tools such as Trello, designed to automatically notify the right channels in your Slack group when there are changes to documents or workflow. Expect even more collaboration tools and built-in features to come in areas like enterprise business and finance solutions, especially as the next generation of millennial workers expect it.

2.  Frictionless integration of the best - but currently disparate - cloud platforms.

In the same vein as my first prediction, the advent of easy-to-use integration and connection tools will link even more systems together. Consider three familiar types of cloud platforms:
  • Systems: NetSuite,, Marketo
  • Storage: Dropbox,, Google Drive
  • Productivity: Office 365, Google Docs     

More and more users are linking these systems together with easy to use and self-serve tools such as Zapier, Segment and Microsoft Flow. This marks an awakening among cloud services; platforms no longer exist in silos, rather they need to work together in order to help users solve real business problems. We'll soon start to see services and vendors that go beyond connecting applications as they add workflow, permissions, business rules and other features.

What qualities will make integration services most successful? Dead simplicity and the use of APIs, rather than custom code for each integration or connector. Software providers take note!

3.  Cloud vendors doing security far better than internal IT departments.

Hear me out on this one. The truth is that we're on the cusp of the lion's share of companies entrusting cloud providers as de facto security experts. This is particularly true for purpose-built cloud vendors like AWS who focus on one thing, and they do it really, really well. As I've witnessed first-hand, even some of the nation's largest, most conservative banks and financial institutions are, for a fact, trusting their cloud vendors to lead the way on security.

Allow me to demonstrate the value of cloud providers as security experts using the following analogous scenario. Would you save your money in a bank that has been designed from the group up to secure it in the best way possible, or in a safe under your mattress - akin to a home-grown IT solution? Cloud vendors know their offerings are as only as good as the security around them. More companies will take their cue from leading financial institutions today and learn to trust their vendors to lead the way in security.

4.  Cloud delivery will become the norm for enterprise software.

Based on what we've seen in the market over the last half-decade, 2018 will see an overwhelming majority (I'd say at least 90 percent) of new enterprise software installs being cloud-based.

A recent Synergy Research study shows quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues alone (including IaaS, PaaS and hosted private cloud services) have now reached $12 billion and continue to grow at well over 40 percent per year. Further, worldwide revenues from cloud and SaaS services will grow at an average annual rate of 23 to 29 percent over the next five years, passing the $200 billion milestone in 2020.

Medium and large sized companies are increasingly adopting cloud software as a standard practice, which will drive lower software costs and benefit enterprises in the long run. Again, some of the world's highest tier banks and financial institutions are leading the charge in moving their most mission-critical systems to the cloud. We can expect to see more in the year ahead as the cloud continues to disrupt the way we do business.


About the Author

Don Mal 

Don Mal is CEO and co-founder of Vena Solutions, a cloud software company providing budgeting, planning and revenue forecasting solutions for medium and large sized organizations. See for more information.

Published Tuesday, December 26, 2017 7:25 AM by David Marshall
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