2017 cloud predictions

Cloud adoption has surged over the last decade and as 2017 approaches its use in both public and private spheres is set to dominate.

Salesforce’s was the first to introduce cloud CRM software as an enterprise application back in 1999.

Since then, especially in the last five years, cloud adoption has surged within a range of businesses and businesses: from SMEs to global enterprises, from manufacturers to retailers.

The cloud offers flexibility, agility and scalability in an increasingly connected world.

The amount of data being processed is growing exponentially and as a result it needs to be stored somewhere. Why not in a virtual environment?

Cloud use presents a number of possibility-driven opportunities for organisations seeking to move away from the rigidity of traditional networks.

Utilising the cloud can reduce business expenditure by reducing hardware costs, while it also provides universal access. It can be accessed by employees anywhere in the world (with internet).

Not updating software can proof the achilles heel for many businesses and is a major factor linked to increasing malware attacks. Cloud providers can automatically update software, preventing these issues from arising. Although the organisation will have to maintain a stringent data security strategy.

Perhaps the biggest benefit cloud service providers offer is the flexibility the cloud offers. It allows users to switch applications with ease and speed, which opens the door for greater business operational efficiency.

>See also: The Trojan horse: 2017 cyber security trends

In a recent interview with George Mulhearn, CEO of Cradlepoint, he stressed to Information Age that the main challenge in cloud adoption was convincing clients of the benefits.

Moving into 2017, awareness surrounding the benefits of using the cloud has certainly increased and will adoption will expand as businesses realise the value it can add to operations.

With this in mind Greg Hanson, vice president worldwide consulting at Informatica provided some insights for what the cloud holds for 2017.

Enterprises will embrace a hybrid cloud approach to dispel data fragmentation

Widespread adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has traditionally been the preserve of SMEs looking for subscription-based models and easily scalable software.

Yet pockets of SaaS investment have crept into the enterprise in 2016, occurring within individual lines of business and causing data fragmentation which hampers agility.

In 2017, rather than shying away from SaaS deployments business-wide, successful enterprises will embrace a hybrid approach to the cloud and reclaim their single view of data assets.

Security will no longer be a question of on-premise or cloud

It’s no longer about whether on-premise or cloud is more secure, but rather about understanding that breaches come from the inside.

Threats exist inside the firewall and as a result perimeter defence has long since been ineffective.

After all, the biggest threat to an organisation’s security posture doesn’t come from the kind of infrastructure and software it uses, but the people.

The amount of data that business users are consuming and demanding means it’s the data management strategy that is imperative.

>See also: Gartner’s top 10 IT predictions for 2017 and beyond

Security posture in 2017 will be defined by an organisation’s ability to carve out a cohesive data management strategy to track data wherever it resides, and secure it at its source.

Brands will live and die by their customer experience

From financial institutions to retailers and manufacturers, customer experience will overtake price as the new differentiator for customers.

As such, data stewardship and governance will become the priority for those delivering second-to-none experiences and successful transformation projects.
It’s all very well pulling data assets together and sharing them with lines of business for these initiatives, but they will need to know that the quality of the data they are implementing into systems is pristine.

What’s more, they will need the right guidance and tools to get to the data in the first place and visualise it in such a way that it can travel the last mile and be put into real use.

This is where a cohesive data management strategy is essential to bridge the disconnect between data scientists and business users.

CIOs will secure their future by reclaiming ownership of data initiatives

With the CIO increasingly facing competition from a tech-savvy set of business IT buyers, it will be imperative that CIOs step up and take ownership of business agility and transformation to ensure they still lead their organisation’s digital journey.

>See also: 10 predictions for the Internet of Things and big data in 2017

Lines of business are increasingly looking to do things cheaper and quicker, without the involvement of IT.

This means that CIOs will need to reclaim control of data management at its root to drive enterprise-wide security and improve accessibility of data.

Only then can they ensure that the single view of the company’s data assets doesn’t become muddied by a disjointed IT spend and independent data management across the business.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...