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IBM 2018 Predictions: Cloud Grows as a Platform for Innovation

VMblog Predictions 2018

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

Contributed by John Considine, General Manager, Cloud Infrastructure Services, IBM

Cloud Grows as a Platform for Innovation

2018 will be another exciting year for the enterprise cloud industry. Forrester predicts the global public cloud market will reach $178 billion this year, and more than 50 percent of global enterprise companies will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation. New developments in AI and big data are driving new computing demands, and new regulatory frameworks like GDPR are presenting new challenges. As the cloud industry evolves in the year ahead, we'll see advancements in data security, serverless and cloud-native solutions so that enterprises across all industries around the world can continue to innovate. 

As GDPR becomes a reality, cloud security growth and sophistication will skyrocket
GDPR becomes a reality on May 25, 2018 and will affect companies both in and out of the EU who handle the data of EU citizens. According to a GDPR readiness survey, almost 40 percent of businesses are fearful of a major compliance failing and the financial penalties for non-compliance are severe. As they navigate the complexities of GDPR, enterprises will double down on cloud security and focus on taking security measures to ensure their cloud apps protect personal data from loss, alteration, or unauthorized processing. In response, cloud service providers will continue to take extraordinary steps to ensure security is at the core of the entire cloud stack. Cloud security services will become more sophisticated with advancements to encryption capabilities, the continued integration of AI, and development of security services that work seamlessly across public, private and multi-cloud environments.

Reaching a tipping point in maturity: containers, Kubernetes, and serverless
Microservices architectures built on containers and serverless computing have revolutionized the speed at which apps can be built and how they connect into the most competitive technologies today: AI, blockchain and machine learning. In 2018, we will see the adoption of these technologies reach a tipping point. They will move from early adoption to becoming the de facto standard for complex and production-ready apps across industries and companies of all sizes.

This shift is being driven by new tools that emerged in 2017 -- like Grafeas, Istio and Composer -- that enable developers to more securely manage and coordinate the many moving parts created by building with containers, serverless and microservices. These tools are enabling greater visibility for the developer including who is working with data, what's being changed, and who has access, leading to better security. The result will be an uptick in the development of mature apps that can span and operate across multiple systems, teams and data streams.

Cloud-native thinking will drive a cultural shift that spurs innovation
Cloud thinking - both cultural and technical - is the only way forward, and many organizations are moving towards a true cloud-native architecture. As this shift occurs, organizations are embracing new technologies that are increasingly easy to implement. As we enter 2018, these changes will also begin to drive greater cultural shifts within these organizations. Technical teams, from data scientists to developers, are now considering questions like, how does my architecture foster innovation by handling the explosion of data from IoT? How can I take advantage of serverless to accelerate development? Is security built in to support blockchain solutions in my industry? As teams answer these questions, they will begin to transform into a more collaborative and iterative learning-based culture. This shift to cloud-native thinking will drive organizational innovation that brings together professionals with specialized skill sets from app developers, data scientists and data users in brand new ways.

Industry solutions are the future of cloud in 2018
Enterprises have moved beyond pure infrastructure-as-a-service and are turning to the cloud as a platform for innovation and new business value. As enterprises become focused on the bigger picture of what cloud can do for their business, they will look for industry-specific solutions that provide a single architecture from infrastructure all the way up to higher value AI and analytics services as opposed to purchasing piecemeal cloud services. For example, financial services companies will look to cloud for high performance computing as a service that couples GPU-accelerated infrastructure with embedded AI and deep learning capabilities in a single solution to help them turn the billions of data points they collect into actionable insights.

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About the Author

John Considine

John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM where he is responsible for leading IBM's public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering management.

John joined IBM in 2015 as the Vice President of the IBM Cloud Innovation Lab where he was responsible for the architecture and design of the evolving IBM cloud platform, which includes all aspects of cloud computing from compute, storage, and networking, to software defined environments, platform services, and data center technologies.  The Cloud Innovation Lab is designed to enhance the operational efficiency, scale, and performance of the IBM cloud.

Prior to joining IBM, Considine was the CTO of Verizon Terremark, responsible for leading the company's global research and development efforts.  Formerly the cofounder of CloudSwitch, a leading enablement software company acquired by Verizon in August 2011, Considine developed and delivered technologies that enable enterprises to seamlessly and securely integrate public cloud resources into existing IT infrastructure without re-architecting applications.

Considine has more than two decades of technology vision and proven experience in complex enterprise system development, integration and product delivery. Before founding CloudSwitch, he was Director of the Platform Products Group at Sun Microsystems.  Considine came to Sun through the acquisition of Pirus Networks, where he was part of the early engineering team responsible for the development and release of the Pirus NAS product, including advanced development of parallel NAS functions and the Segmented File System. He has started and boot-strapped a number of start-ups with breakthrough technology in high-performance distributed systems and image processing. Considine has been granted patents for cloud computing, virtualization, networking, RAID and distributed file system technology.

Published Tuesday, January 23, 2018 7:50 AM by David Marshall
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