4 surprise cloud computing trends for 2018

2018 will be the year of more rapid growth, more data breaches caused by dummies, mega mergers in the cloud computing market, and the rise of “dark horse” cloud providers

First of all, I hate doing yearly predictions. Also, this is the time of year that every PR firm in the country asks me to read the cloud computing predictions of their clients, which are all pretty much wrong and self-serving.

So, I’ve put together four cloud predictions for 2018 that you won’t see coming but that should help shape your cloud strategy for the new year.

2018 cloud prediction No. 1:
Microsoft or Oracle buys Salesforce.com

Microsoft and Oracle can afford it, and both are looking to accelerate their cloud computing cred. It does not get better in terms of SaaS dominance than Salesforce, and that cash cow can be milked by one of the two mega enterprise players for the next 20 years.

2018 cloud prediction No. 2:
A rash of data breaches caused by idiots

We’ve seen the NSA and others leave sensitive data exposed because of public cloud misconfigurations. There’s been no real damage done yet, but in 2018 we’ll see an explosion of breaches caused because somebody forgot the lock the virtual door—you just need to know the URL, and you’re in—not because the hackers were exploiting some unknown vulnerability.

2018 cloud prediction No. 3:
More cloud categories are coming

While hybrid, public, and private clouds are how we’re defining cloud deployments, as well as now multicloud, they are often misapplied. This semantic confusion is caused by big enterprises technology providers cloud-washing the heck out of the commonly used buzzwords, perverting the cloud terminology defined by NIST in 2008.

For example, vendors’ versions of hybrid clouds are often traditional systems paired with public cloud, and not the paired private and public clouds that NIST defined. Moreover, virtualized sets of servers are often called private clouds, even though they are not.

We’ll have to make up new terms for these other patterns, and stop calling them what they are not. Watch this space for my suggestions. 

2018 cloud prediction No. 4: 
Non-US cloud providers get more traction

We’re now seeing several new public cloud providers, such as Alibaba, that are beginning to show up in deals. Although most of the Global 2000, as well as the US government, will turn up their noses at these new providers, enterprises and governments outside the US, as well as small to medium US businesses, will look at these providers with interest, considering their low costs.

Indeed, depending on what analyst firm you’re paying attention to, Alibaba has already surpassed Google in IaaS revenue.  

So, be ready for these four cloud developments in 2018.               

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