Year of the Cloud 2018

Microsoft Azure

Will 2018 be the year of the cloud?

The evidence would certainly suggest that a tipping point has been reached.

A recent report by Forrester predicted a global public cloud market of $178bn for 2018, up from $146bn in 2017; equivalent to a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22 per cent. Fifty per cent of global enterprises, according to the report, will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation.

A recent study by LogicMonitor predicts that 83 per cent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020, with 41 per cent of workloads running on public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure. Digital transformation (63%) is the leading factor driving greater public cloud adoption according to LogicMonitor, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning also emerging as important catalysts.

Over at Microsoft, annualised revenue run rate from the company’s rapidly growing Azure cloud platform has already passed the previously set target of $20bn in annual cloud sales for 2018.

From Cloud Barriers to Reasons for Migrating

As enterprise cloud use reaches a tipping point, previous misconceptions and barriers have become drivers of cloud adoption.

The most commonly cited reasons for migrating to the Cloud now include to support digital transformation, to reduce costs, agility, flexibility, mobility, scalability, enhanced security and collaboration. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT) adoption will emerge as leading factors driving greater cloud adoption by 2020.

Compare the above to the most commonly cited misconceptions about the cloud as reported in a previous Bridgeall blog post from September, 2016 and listed on the left hand column of Figure 1 below – see The Cloud (Part 2): Misconceptions and the Need for Strategy.

Figure 1: From Cloud Misconceptions to Reasons for Migrating

Cloud Misconceptions (2016)
Reasons for Migrating to the Cloud (2018)

The cloud is a fad.

The exponential growth of cloud adoption over the last year or so would suggest otherwise.

The cloud is expensive.                       

Cost savings are one of the main reasons why a diverse range of organisations are now migrating to the cloud.

The cloud is not secure.         

Now universally agreed that the opposite is the case. The cloud provides enhanced security and data protection.

The cloud is unreliable.    

Reliability of service is one of the main reasons for the rapid growth of cloud adoption.

You lose control of your IT infrastructure.

The enhanced flexibility of the cloud provides enterprise IT with greater, not less, control.       

The cloud does not scale for larger enterprises.

Scalability is now a key driver of cloud adoption.                                                                 

The cloud is 'all or nothing'.

The rapid growth of enterprise hybrid cloud solutions ends this previous misconception.

2016 misconceptions about the cloud have become the main reasons for migrating to the cloud in 2018.

Microsoft Azure: New Blog Series

With the argument ‘WHY the Cloud’ having been won, the only legitimate question now is the ‘HOW’. How your organisation can leverage the full potential of the cloud for accelerating digital, for supporting digital transformation.

Moving to the cloud does not automatically translate into successful digital transformation. A range of other complex issues are involved. Digital transformation, however, cannot take place unless supported by the flexibility, lower costs, enhanced efficiency, performance and security provided by a cloud-enabled infrastructure

By providing the ability to scale up or down, efficiency, elasticity and cost optimisation, the cloud facilitates new ways of working, acting as a catalyst for the introduction of innovative new working practices. It offers a more cost effective, lower risk and faster platform supporting rapid agile development. Immediate, on-demand access to the latest solutions and approaches, such as AI and Internet of Things, is provided in a ready-to-deploy environment.

Over the coming weeks, a new Bridgeall blog series will provide highly practical advice supporting your organisation’s journey to the cloud; ensuring that you leverage the full potential of cloud computing for future proofing your organisation.

As the world’s fastest growing enterprise cloud platform, the series will focus specifically on Microsoft Azure.

At the end of last year, Bridgeall were delighted to be awarded Gold Competency status as a Microsoft Cloud Platform partner. The award, aimed at partners specialising in the delivery of IaaS and PaaS solutions on Microsoft Azure, reflects our proven expertise and experience in delivering successful cloud platform based solutions for a broad range of clients.

Key topics to be covered in the new series will include an overview of Microsoft Azure; benefits of the cloud; the importance of planning; the Azure journey; migrating; maximising the Cloud to support digital transformation; measuring cloud performance and business impact; emerging application such as AI and Internet of Things; choosing a cloud partner; and, of course, the key issue of security.

The Cloud and Business Performance

Evidence is already emerging that the business performance of early cloud adopters is outpacing organisations who have yet to embrace the technology. Cloud adopters are much more likely to have achieved their digital business and infrastructure objectives compared with non-adopters.

There is a real danger that organisations who have not yet become fully cloud enabled will be caught in a ‘vicious circle’ of decline. Their ability to keep up-to-speed with rapid digital change will be constrained by unstable and inflexible infrastructures, legacy systems and IT management approaches stuck in a pre-cloud time warp.

There will be ‘winners and losers’ in digital transformation. Winners will be those who successfully combine cloud and wider digital transformation strategies at the same time. Technology AND organisation working together to drive transformation.

Hopefully, our new series will support your organisation in becoming a cloud winner.