The cloud is now so ubiquitous that it’s difficult to remember life without it. In fact, as it continues to dominate the IT landscape, it makes you wonder when cloud computing might just be called ‘computing’. In 2018, nearly half of all IT spending will be cloud-based, while by 2020, up to 70 percent of all services, software and technology will be in the cloud.
Clearly then, there’s tremendous growth to come, so we’ve canvassed industry experts to find out what the future of cloud computing will bring in terms of security, infrastructure and importantly, jobs.
The security of the cloud has been one of the polarising issues for IT professionals in recent years. With email accounts, business files, workloads, sensitive data and much more stored on the cloud, concerns about security are inevitable.
Potential concerns that are often cited include:
Despite the security concerns, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 60 percent of enterprises that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control will experience one-third fewer security failures. That’s because the security at major cloud providers is generally better than most enterprise data centres. In fact, the biggest risk is not the security of the cloud itself, but the policies and technologies for security that enterprises put in place.
Gartner also forecasts that by 2020, 95 percent of all cloud security failures will be a consequence of the actions of the consumer. For that reason, the focus in the future must be on implementing a tactical approach to the use of cloud computing and applying as much automation to the process as possible to eliminate the risk of human error.
Three future cloud security measures include:
Rather than investing in expensive hardware and managing their own data centres directly, companies are instead relying on public cloud providers like Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft Azure to provide their computing, storage and networking resources in a flexible way. But for some enterprises, that’s not enough.
Many are now choosing to use multi-cloud architecture to distribute workloads across a number of cloud environments to mitigate the risks associated with the use of a single environment, such as latency and security.
In the future, ‘serverless’ computing, known as ‘function-as-a-service (FaaS)’, is muted to become the next stage in the cloud journey. The fact that tasks are performed by a serverless platform has the potential to remove instances of idleness. Nick Rockwell, CTO at the New York Times, said:
“Given a healthy, competitive dynamic, serverless can yield 5 to 10 times more efficiency gains and a lot of those savings will come back to the users. In the long-term, economically, it’s going to be a far better, cheaper and more efficient way to go”.
The cloud will also provide the digital infrastructure of tomorrow’s cities, with driverless cars, drone taxis, smart elevators, parking lots and even farms and power plants made safer and more efficient thanks to the cloud’s ability to analyse and store data. According to Chip Childers, CTO of Cloud Foundry Foundation:
“This is all part of a shift to a cloud-first world more and more. Even with private data centres, the use of cloud technologies is changing how we think about infrastructure, application platforms and system development”.
Cloud computing will have a significant impact on IT jobs over the next 5-10 years, but rather than eliminating positions, many will simply migrate. A fall in the in-house demands of IT organisations will be balanced by the creation of positions that assist with the remote maintenance of cloud networks and a surge in security roles.
IT jobs that are likely to change include:
With IT jobs moving from organisations to cloud service providers, there will be a number of new skills sets that need to be filled. Security for shared networks is one of the hottest fields for IT recruiters right now, with ‘security engineer’ and ‘security architect’ set to be two of the most in-demand roles. There will also be an increased need for IT project managers within cloud service providers.
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