Top 10 Cloud Trends in 2016
Cloud technology is set to transform the data and analytics landscape in 2016 like never before. The cloud sector will experience very mixed activity and the next twelve months will be marked by innovation. Competition between giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft will become fiercer, and IT managers will increasingly seek to reduce costs and democratize access to data. New market players will not be left out, and the evolution of partnerships and demand will leave the field open to them to question the dominant position of traditional leaders.
1 / Data will generate more interest than ever
Data storage solutions are legion. Whether it’s Salesforce or Amazon Web Services, cloud giants are scrambling to deliver their services and ecosystems to businesses, and not just for classic internal data. They also favor those from Web platforms such as Workday or Zendesk, as well as those generated by machines and various connected terminals.
This development is hardly surprising. This data is now an invaluable resource for businesses. This is why cloud service providers looking to make themselves indispensable must encourage professionals to store all of their data on their platforms.
The creation of Data Lakes in the cloud is an idea that is starting to gain ground. This strategy is particularly attractive because of the advantageous cost of the storage options offered and the fact that the hosted solutions do not require capital expenditure. Businesses that have already moved their data warehouses to the cloud will be very interested in the possibilities of easily including non-traditional, but nonetheless vital data sources in their highly scalable platforms. This could be, for example, IoT content or metric data for social media. All of this information is intended to provide an increasingly connected analytical view of resources and customers.
2 / The price war will also affect partners
The main players in the cloud, such as Amazon, Google or Microsoft, have been fighting a merciless battle for years in the field of low-cost solutions, and are now moving up a gear by involving their main partners in this price war.
When it comes to maintaining a stranglehold on the market, industry giants often resort to the financial argument to convince their partners to join their camp, or other incentives to strengthen their relationships. Ultimately, the goal is for these partners to help customers successfully deploy their cloud solutions. These partners can thus take advantage of the vast resources of the big names in the cloud, and in return offer their own services at a more advantageous price, which gives a new dimension to the battle being waged in this sector.
3 / Large companies are massively adopting the cloud
We’re on the verge of reaching a watershed moment, and cloud adoption is no longer just for young, growing companies. Large companies across all industries are moving all of their infrastructure and data ecosystems to the cloud.
Whether it’s improving in-store customer service or leveraging innovations in production, even the most reluctant have understood it: the cloud helps reduce costs and risks. It is no longer possible to ignore it, especially when you realize that the cloud is a sustainable alternative to massive solutions that lack flexibility.
4 / Analytics in the cloud help IT
To control the costs of cloud deployments and take advantage of rapid scalability, IT managers are turning to powerful analytics solutions with high availability.
While the primary appeal of cloud strategies is to reduce costs and optimize the use of resources, CIOs need to be able to ensure that they can actually reap these benefits. Cloud analytics solutions to explore usage and billing data will empower IT to quickly spot potentially expensive services and avoid cost overruns. All this will be possible from a mobile device and at any time.
5 / IT giants redouble their creativity to stay in the race
In the area of computer hardware and microchips, the biggest suppliers refuse to be relegated to the background. They will continue to take risks to maintain a strategic approach in a field today dominated by cloud players.
As evidenced by the merger between Dell and EMC or the imminent split of HP into two entities, the behemoths of the sector feel caught by the throat. As a result of the cloud revolution, the privileged relationship between these giants and their customers is rapidly crumbling, resulting in an increased dependence on solutions such as those of Amazon, Google or from Microsoft.
They are now faced with a choice and must turn to new areas of activity to be able to offer value-added solutions to their customers again. It would be a mistake to underestimate the resources of these companies, which all have laboratories and innovation centers that still allow them to find new ideas.
6 / Data transfer to the cloud becomes easier
While self-service data preparation and integration solutions were all the rage in 2015, 2016 will be marked by the explosion of tools allowing easy transfer of internal data and data from web platforms to ecosystems in the cloud.
With cloud analytics and data preparation solutions, users will soon be able to move their data to the cloud quickly and easily, even without technical skills. Accessible solutions that dramatically simplify data integration, preparation and transformation, and that allow business users to move their data to their databases and cloud warehouses with ease, are about to become a reality. .
7 / European legislation underlines commitments in terms of data in the cloud
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has invalidated the long established principles of the Safe Harbor, and American companies that store their users’ data across the Atlantic will need to clarify their position by data confidentiality so as not to lose the trust of their customers.
The cloud giants wasted no time and reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring data privacy following the CJEU ruling. It is not difficult for those who can afford to have a dedicated infrastructure in Europe. For others, 2016 will serve as a test. Will they take the risk of waiting for a hypothetical new agreement that will allow them to continue to manage their data exclusively in the United States, or will they take the initiative, to ensure the loyalty of their customers, by investing in a data infrastructure based in Europe?
8 / The dilemma of cloud markets
The major cloud infrastructure providers have shown foresight and developed markets to provide their customers with streamlined, direct access to their preferred third-party solutions without having to leave their platform. These markets are experiencing undeniable growth, but create a dilemma when it comes to customer retention.
Service providers and software solutions naturally turn to markets offered by companies such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google, whose many users are inclined to adopt new technologies. However, the emergence of an intermediary between these service providers and their customers constitutes a major challenge in terms of loyalty.
In 2016, these providers will assess whether the financial gains recorded justify the loss of a direct relationship with the customer. Smart businesses will reject such a choice and find ways to take full advantage of cloud markets, while strengthening their direct customer relationships.
9 / Simplification of hybrid cloud strategies
Opting for the cloud while keeping your feet on the ground is the technological roadmap now adopted by many companies that no longer just want to play it safe. As a result, the solutions and services designed to support such a model will experience unprecedented growth.
The market remains in a state of permanent transition, and even companies that would like to are not necessarily able to opt for a 100% cloud solution. Many factors, such as the use of existing solutions or compliance imperatives, can necessitate a roadmap that confines part of IT to on-premises. Others however prefer this situation. Initially advocating a very orthodox approach to the transition to the cloud, providers of such solutions are now focusing on hybrid deployments. Such an opening thus gives more weight to the smaller players and will undoubtedly allow newcomers to find a place in this market.
Still, that doesn’t mean a decline in adoption of a cloud-centric approach. The adoption by the industry giants of a more moderate approach including hybrid strategies is just a testament to the fact that the trend is in their favor no matter what.
10 / The differences between mobile and cloud analytics are blurring
In an age where devices are more connected than ever before and data increasingly resides in the cloud, the differences between these two concepts tend to disappear and only the essential goal remains, which is to help users quickly find solutions. answers to their questions and communicate their results.
Imagine the executive of a football team attending the first game of the season. To get an idea of the number of fans who have come to watch the match, he takes out his smartphone, opens an application to access a scoreboard fed by live data from a database in the cloud, to which is sent data generated by devices scanning tickets at stadium entry points.
Can we talk about mobile analysis? Absolutely. Is this also a cloud analysis? Certainly. Does this senior executive care about the distinction? Absolutely not. Details don’t matter. He just wants to compare, with a simple gesture, the sales figures of this opening match with those of previous matches, and then just as easily share his results with his colleagues. The way mobile and cloud analytics work will become less important. Only the simplicity of their combined operation will count.
As the cloud becomes more widespread, it is ultimately the idea of evolution that is emerging as the new normal. As the forms, providers and uses of cloud services continue to evolve, more of us than ever are turning to the cloud to do the same tasks of storing and working with data quickly and efficiently.
Edouard Beaucourt, Director France, French-speaking Switzerland and North Africa, has joined Board in 2013 as Commercial Director for Large Enterprises. Previously, he held the position of regional sales manager for the professional analysis tools sector at IBM. He also worked in the sales department of Clarity Systems, Microsoft and Hyperion Solutions.