2017 is the year the cloud zooms like a rocket

2016 was the inflection point for cloud migration, and in 2017, the pace and scale will really challenge IT departments

2017 is the year the cloud zooms like a rocket
Credit: NASA

It’s now obvious that 2016 was the inflection point for cloud computing, so the questions for 2017 are set: How big will it get? When will it experience rapid growth? Also, what part of the market will grow the fastest?

Here are my predictions.

Explosive growth in migrated workloads. I already see larger and larger deals, all aimed at 2017 deployments. This means IT must get good at migration—fast. Climb faster on that learning curve!

Public cloud providers will offer better tools, and enterprises will become more savvy about using them. Still, you can count on huge bottlenecks to occur, such as workloads that are not good fits for the cloud or conflicts with security, governance, and compliance requirements.

Need for cloud management and governance. The explosive growth of migration will drive the tipping point for managing the workloads in the public cloud—IT will have too many to manage manually. Expect to see more tools to help with that management, especially around cloud service/application governance, including tools that can abstract you from the details.

Enterprises get slick with containers, but only for new applications. The growth of containers is real, both for Docker and lesser-known competitors. Containers will become a compelling design and technology pattern.

But don’t expect to see IT containerize existing applications—it’s simply not happening. Why? Because containers may be a good fit for net new applications, where IT can systemically work the container design into the application, but it’s costly and risky to rework existing applications for containers—at least, if you want to make them functional.

The cloud story in 2017 will be more of the same of what we’ve seen in 2016, but at a faster pace and larger scale. That poses a big challenge to enterprises in getting the processes, technology, and people needed to proceed.

IT has faced this before—such as in the moves to PCs, the web, and distributed systems—but this time it’s going to be even harder. It’ll be worth it: The cloud move will be truly game-changing in the long run.

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