Cloud computing has been a force to be reckoned with for the past five years, and its growth is expected to continue at an exponential rate in 2017 as large enterprise clients shift their workloads to the cloud en masse.
The technology behind the cloud has come a long way. Improvements in analytics capabilities and machine learning algorithms have walked hand in hand with the advancements experienced by the cloud hosting industry.
In 2017, more enterprises will migrate to the cloud. The use of containers and serverless computing will increase. Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions are poised to break out this year. And regional cloud providers will offer specialized services to specific kinds of clients, unlike the mega cloud providers (AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) with their “one size fits most” approach.
Managers, especially in organizations that are either already in the cloud or are in the process of migrating, will do well to familiarize themselves with the growing list of advantages offered by the cloud. Current or future students pursuing a traditional or online MBA degree may need to understand cloud computing inside and out when they move on to their new careers after graduation.
Several years ago, when the phenomenon of cloud computing was still in its infancy, smaller companies quickly adopted the cloud into their business models. Since then, larger enterprises and Fortune 500 companies have begun to adapt the cloud to their needs.
“Cloud migration will gain maximum acceleration for large enterprises that have, until now, been reluctant to accept the changing technology,” claims Pratik Dholakiya, co-founder of digital marketing agency E2M, in his blog article, “Five Key Trends To Look Forward To In 2017: Containers, AI, And More” on CloudComputing-News.com. “While nearly 77 percent of companies relied on traditional IT infrastructure in 2015, this number is likely to drop down to 43 percent in 2018 as large businesses will migrate to cloud-based infrastructure.”
Larger enterprises are embarking on this massive migration because the services offered by cloud solution providers now match their own internal capabilities. Cloud services also take care of the security of sensitive data, reducing network security costs for large corporations.
Company leadership personnel must be prepared to guide their organizations through the migration process as smoothly as possible.
Containers And Serverless Computing
Linux containers are now available on every major public and private cloud platform, as of early 2017. Containers allow for the development of cloud-based applications directly in the cloud, within a virtual environment set aside for the use of the client company’s developers.
Serverless computing is a misnomer of sorts. Servers are still used in serverless solutions. Essentially, in a serverless arrangement, the cloud provider will handle a function within a container without charging the client for virtual machine services.
“[In serverless computing] code is triggered by events – an IoT device uploading information into a database, for instance,” says cloud-computing expert Brandon Butler in his post, “Ten Must-Watch IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) Cloud Trends For 2017,” on NetworkWorld.com. “The serverless computing platform will then execute a corresponding action: making a copy of that database entry in a data warehouse, for example.”
Containers and serverless computing options are being viewed as “next-generation computing” solutions that will skyrocket in popularity during 2017. Managers with online MBA degrees specializing in Management Information Systems who are versed in these cloud provisions may be positioned to streamline their company’s cloud-based applications.
Private cloud providers are beginning to offer solutions including integrated PaaS (Platform as a Service) functionality. The capabilities provided include compute and storage solutions. In some instances, private cloud providers control the software infrastructure while maintaining the client’s firewall for security purposes.
“Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions promise to help [stitch together virtualization, standardization, automation, self-service access, and resource monitoring], offering pre-integrated compute and storage resources that help organizations get their cloud implementations running faster,” explains cloud solutions authority Clint Boulton in his article, “Six Trends That Will Shape Cloud Computing In 2017” on CIO.com. “Organizations consider HCI as the foundation for their private cloud development, particularly for new workloads that demand rapid, automated scale-out.”
Company management tends to be apprehensive about turning sensitive data over to a third-party cloud provider because of the tedious and costly task of creating a cohesive, working system on the cloud. Hyperconverged infrastructure can make such tasks faster, easier, and less expensive.
Regional Cloud Providers
Smaller, regionally based cloud providers will become major players in 2017. While the large cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft Aure, and Google Cloud are expanding their services and growing at an exponential rate, many companies are finding that they need more specialized, industry-specific services from their cloud platforms. The healthcare industry, in particular, has specialized needs.
“Diabetes patients can measure their blood glucose and other parameters themselves at home via a few devices and upload the values to the app’s public cloud,” write Yan Hu, Sara Eriksén, and Jerry Lundberg in their academic paper, “Future Applications Of Applying Healthcare Cloud For Home-Based Chronic Disease Care,” presented at The Ninth International Conference On eHealth, Telemedicine, And Social Medicine. “The doctors at the hospital can access the public cloud if they have the authorization of their patients. Between the hospital’s and primary care centers’ private clouds, there is an internal journal system for sharing patients’ data.”
Regional cloud providers facilitate specialized functions, such as in the example of the diabetes patients, because they are able to concentrate on healthcare-specific needs. The leadership of companies with specific, unusual cloud computing needs should investigate their regional cloud provider offerings.
2017 will be the year when deep-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence solutions really begin to deliver. The mega-cloud providers (AWS, Google, MS, and IBM) offer full suites of AI-powered solutions.
“Over the last half-dozen years, deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence inspired by the structure of the human brain, has made enormous strides in giving machines the ability to intuit the physical world,” says Foundation Capital partner Aditya Singh in her article, “Deep Learning Will Radically Change The Ways We Interact With Technology” in Harvard Business Review.
“At Facebook’s AI lab, they’ve built a deep-learning system capable of answering simple questions to which it had never previously been exposed,” Singh writes. “The Echo, Amazon’s smart speaker, uses deep-learning techniques. Three years ago, Microsoft’s chief research officer impressed attendees at a lecture in China with a demonstration of deep-learning speech software that translated his spoken English into Chinese, then instantly delivered the translation using a simulation of his voice speaking Mandarin—with an error rate of just 7 percent.”
Artificial intelligence will grow by leaps and bounds as machine learning engines build upon pre-existing knowledge bases. Managing leaders in every industry should stay current with AI technology to ensure that their organizations can take advantage of this incredible technology as soon as possible.
UAB’s Online MBA Degree Program
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an online MBA program with a concentration in Management Information Systems that can equip graduates with a valuable understanding of cloud computing solutions. Classes combine traditional instruction with modern online technologies. Online courses are completed collaboratively with instructors and other students via computer and/or mobile device.
Other program concentrations include Finance, Marketing, and Health Services. For more information, visit the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online MBA website to learn how to become an effective Information Systems Manager trained to optimize and safeguard your company’s cyber presence.
• Five Key Trends To Look Forward To In 2017: Containers, AI, And More – https://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2017/feb/03/five-key-cloud-trends-look-forward-2017-containers-ai-and-more/
• Ten Must-Watch IaaS Cloud Trends For 2017 – http://www.networkworld.com/article/3151002/iaas/10-must-watch-iaas-cloud-trends-for-2017.html
• Six Trends That Will Shape Cloud Computing In 2017 – http://www.cio.com/article/3137946/cloud-computing/6-trends-that-will-shape-cloud-computing-in-2017.html?upd=1493230962993
• Future Applications Of Applying Healthcare Cloud For Home-Based Chronic Disease Care – http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1082557/FULLTEXT01.pdf
• Deep Learning Will Radically Change The Ways We Interact With Technology – https://hbr.org/2017/01/deep-learning-will-radically-change-the-ways-we-interact-with-technology