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Five Cloud Computing Trends to Look for in 2018

It feels like just yesterday we were toasting to the start of 2017, and it’s hard to believe it’s already come to an end. 2017 has been a particularly exciting year for Datapipe, as we announced that we were joining forces with Rackspace to create the world’s leader in multi-cloud managed services.

And although 2017 certainly has been a year to remember, we’re looking forward to everything 2018 has in store – including advancements in cloud computing. Read on to see what we think will be the biggest trends in cloud computing this year.

  1. Artificial Intelligence for businesses

TechTarget defines artificial intelligence (AI) as the “simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.” The cloud enables AI innovation by providing the data storage capacity and massive processing capability the technology needs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has permeated the consumer technology market with gadgets like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home, but businesses have yet to fully embrace all the advantages AI can provide.

Machine learning, an application of AI, can provide great value to an organization. According to our own Patrick McClory, “One of the real values of machine learning is the ability to grow into a scenario where the machine is your eyes and ears that can enable organizations to better identify underlying events and concepts that are occurring.” With AI, businesses can make better decisions that are supported by data. This, combined with all the exciting potential the technology has in customer service, marketing, and analytics, leads us to believe will see more businesses take advantage of AI in 2018.  Our partners over at AWS launched a number of new services at Re:Invent a few weeks ago that will help business take advantage of ML at scale including Amazon Comprehend which is a natural language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to find insights and relationships in text.

  1. Edge computing

As discussed in a recent blog, edge computing is “a mesh network of micro data centers that process or store critical data locally and push all received data to a central data center or cloud storage repository, in a footprint of less than 100 square feet.” With the Internet of Things (IoT) expected to reach tens of billions of connected devices within the next few years, edge computing will become more common as these devices seek real-time response and processing, making it less practical to – in the words of Daniel Newman at Forbes – send data “all the way to the cloud.”

We’re already seeing this technology in action in devices like FitBit and other wearable heart monitors. These devices can provide and analyze data on users’ steps, heart rate, and sleeping habits without needing to connect to the cloud very often. As edge computing grows in popularity, we believe it will work in tandem with the cloud, and we expect to see hybrid models emerge that combine the best of both worlds. Rather than an entirely decentralized architecture, cloud providers can deploy these micro data centers at a few key geographic locations. A provider can keep control while moving the data processing capabilities closer to the user. Check out our recent blog on edge computing to learn more about the technology and its applications.

In early December, our partners at Microsoft launched an interesting new service this month called Azure IOT Edge, which is now in preview mode. This service extends cloud intelligence to edge devices so that analytics can be performed at the edge and enable real-time decisions, reduce bandwidth costs and operate with intermittent connectivity

  1. The rise of 5G

You may have noticed that the rapidly increasing amount of data generated and stored around the world is a driver behind many of biggest cloud computing trends in 2018. As the amount of data increases, consumers will still expect the same connection quality and speed they’re used to, which will require faster networks. Enter 5G, a new network system that has much higher speeds and capacity and much lower latency than existing networks.

According to market research firm Research and Markets, “the combination of 5G cellular and cloud technologies will provide substantial capacity, flexibility, and functionality richness to mobile network operator IoT service offerings.” While the move towards a 5G network will not happen overnight, we expect major leaps to be made in 2018 to preserve users’ mobile experience.

  1. Internet of Everything

As I touched on earlier in this piece, the IoT is growing rapidly, with tens of billions connected devices expected to come online in the next few years. According to TechTarget, the Internet of Everything (IoE) takes IoT one step further, “placing an emphasis on machine-to-machine communications to describe a more complex system that also encompasses people and processes.”

One great example of the IoE in action? Google’s Pixel Buds. This headset can recognize and translate over 40 languages in real-time, facilitating human interactions around the globe. We expect to see the IoE grow in 2018, as more and more devices become connected and the cloud’s processing capacity continues to increase.

Our partners at Google have a new service called Cloud IOT Core in beta that provides a secure way to ingest and collect data from millions of globally dispersed devices which is coupled with Android Things that can push out automatic updates to devices with wide use cases including with smart meters to help forecast demand for power utilities.

  1. Increased focus on security.

From the massive WannaCry ransomware attack to Equifax’s data breach, 2017 has certainly seen its fair share of security issues, and 2018 will be no different. We expect security to be a major focus for organizations moving forward. A recent Tech Pro Research survey found that 53 percent of respondents said security will be a top priority in their 2018 budgets, with that money going towards investing in tools like security information and event management (SIEM) and malware detection systems. In addition, we expect to see an increase in businesses that don’t feel equipped to implement full security measures themselves who invest in managed security services for their cloud environments.

It’s an exciting time to be in cloud computing, and we’re looking forward to all the developments next year will bring. As our industry continues to evolve, it’s helpful to have the guidance of a managed service provider to break it down for you, and we’ll be here to answer any questions you have along the way.

Datapipe has joined forces with Rackspace to create the world’s leader in multi-cloud managed services. Learn more about the acquisition here.

About David Lucky

David Lucky
As Datapipe’s Director of Product Management, David has unique insight into the latest product developments for private, public, and hybrid cloud platforms and a keen understanding of industry trends and their impact on business development. David writes about a wide variety of topics including security and compliance, AWS, Microsoft, and business strategy.

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