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December 23, 2015updated 22 Sep 2016 11:59am

SaaS, CaaS & DevOps: 10 Cloud predictions for 2016

List: Hear from experts at Canonical, Informatica and HPE about what 2016 holds in-store for cloud.

By James Nunns

Cloud has had another successful year and is forecast to continue to grow in 2016, but what do tech industry experts predict we will see?

CBR brings together exclusive predictions for cloud 2016.


1. Reshape to survive

Dave Wright, CEO of SolidFire: "The growth of hyperscale cloud vendors like Amazon and Microsoft, will continue to put pressure on the market giants in 2016, causing them to realise that they need to radically reshape themselves to survive.

There are several key trends transforming modern Enterprise IT including public cloud and flash, and the pressure from these shifts is only going to increase in 2016.

"Any large IT vendor that doesn’t derive a meaningful amount of its revenue from the public cloud in 2016 is going to be left behind. Similarly, enterprises that have had their first taste of flash are now hungry for more, and are looking to move it from the fringe to the data centre core."

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2. Cloud to create more disruption

Mark Baker, OpenStack Product Manager, Canonical: "2016 will be the year of even more disruption, if you can believe it. The convergence of Cloud, IoT and OpenSource will drive the expansion of "commoditized innovation", rapid innovation through collaboration at commodity scale economics.

"In business, public cloud providers will start to deliver on premises implementations leading to OpenStack’s competitive edge becoming its Open Source credentials and freedom from lock-in. Enterprises will start to get service modelling, tools built around configuration management will start to fade and enterprise computing will become synonymous with ‘unnecessarily expensive."


3. The rise of Container-as-a-Service

David Messina, VP of marketing at Docker: "The rise of Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) will facilitate Ops-originated application delivery. Deployment and use of containers in production will be greatly eased by Ops-led Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) architectures focused on enabling IT’s ability to deconstruct monolithic application architectures in favor of microservices.

"CaaS will succeed without requiring organizational changes as seen with with the rise of DevOps, eliminating the need to retool and re-skill by refocusing on what Ops can do for Dev through integration of core and container technologies, thereby creating a more circular pattern of collaboration."


4. Cloud continues to enable big data

Greg Hanson, VP EMEA at Informatica: We’ll see the rise of so-called ‘industry clouds’, which will provide ready-made data analytics infrastructures to help individual sectors overcome common problems.

"For example, this will enable data-heavy industries like utilities and logistics to quickly sift information from connected devices to find out where faults or packages are located. Data will also become more democratic, increasingly being put in the hands of frontline employees to help them make informed on-the-spot decisions to drive customer engagement."


5. Who is responsible?

Maarten Ectors, VP IoT, Canonical: "Remotely controlled cloud devices, such as drones, whilst allowing for businesses to remotely survey an area or monitor equipment, also raise concerns about privacy.

"Liability is also an issue, a drone crash in one country whilst being operated by someone in another raises distinct cross-border issues; who is responsible? Cloud security and the integrity of your smart home devices will also be challenged. The day your toaster can be hacked is truly worrying, and not far away.

6. The death of outsourced application development

Andre Pino (VP Marketing). CloudBees: "Outsourced application development dies. Businesses will use software to differentiate their brands in ways that they were previously incapable of, and it will be so core to the business that it will require application development to be brought back in-house.

"The combination of cloud(easy access to compute resources), CD/DevOps (rapid application development and delivery) and microservices (simplified application architecture) will result in the business relying on a continuous flow of company-built software features to create new and exciting ways to interact with customers."


7. Hybrid IT becomes stronger

Graham Mackay, UK & I Sales Director, Hybrid IT, HPE: "The increasingly digital and disruptive business environment will reinforce the trend towards hybrid IT environments in the coming year. The reason is that established firms have to combine two very different ways of doing business in order to sustain their competitiveness.

"They must continue to run and optimize their traditional business and, at the same time, establish start-up-style initiatives, which are all about speed.

"This will drive adoption of a combination of reliable and efficient systems on one hand, and extremely agile and flexible cloud platforms on the other. As two infrastructure models are not sustainable, firms will seek to implement hybrid IT that bridges the two worlds."


8. Public clouds will be a key driver of SaaS

Mathias Golombek, Chief Technology Officer and, Board Member, EXASOL AG: "Solutions as a Service has been building momentum this year and more and more IT managers are seeing the success that early adopters have been enjoying.

"Companies have been struggling to plug the skills gap, particularly for data analytics, and there has been growing concern throughout the UK around productivity as we slip behind Germany and France – highlighted by the 2015 Summer Budget.

"IT managers now see SaaS as a legitimate solution to the problem and are seeking to garner the benefits it has to offer.

"Public clouds will be a key driver of SaaS, as we’ll see more SaaS offerings at a better price. This will lead to a shift in the relationship between the IT department and the business as public clouds enable departments to be much more agile and adopt new solutions more easily and deploy on demand."


9. Cloud attacks to increase

John Vladimir Slamecka, Regional Vice President, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, AT&T: "Cloud attacks will grow more serious and widespread in 2016, and will serve as a harsh wake-up call to many organisations.

"The concern and urgency will quickly trickle down from large enterprises to medium-sized businesses, and drive a spike in demand for stricter, more effective cloud controls and security to better protect critical cloud data. This will also drive increased focus on highly secure cloud networking solutions."


10. Standarisation and automation are key

Graham Mackay, UK & I Sales Director, Hybrid IT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise: "Our customers increasingly view standardization and automation as the key to transforming their legacy IT environments to cloud-like models.

"The use of automation to orchestrate the resources in hybrid IT environments will gain traction over the coming year. Going forward, companies will start to use automation to enforce the execution of contractual arrangements for the use, storage and transmission of personal or confidential data.

"The latter will be one of the approaches for cloud providers and users to ensure compliance and accountability in a highly complex regulatory environment."

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