Blog authored by Virang Mankad, CSMO (Chief Sales & Marketing Officer) Synoptics Technologies Limited

COVID-19 is a cornerstone in adoption of cloud across the enterprise, start-ups, small and medium businesses and Government. Moving to cloud enables faster time to market, on-demand scalability and reduced total cost of ownership for technology infrastructure.

As we see organizations start preparing their cloud strategy, the following are the trends we see that are going to stay in the times to come.

1. Hybrid & Multi-cloud 

Most of the organizations are today talking about “cloud-first strategy”. Any application or digital transformation use case that can be conceived in public cloud, should be planned on cloud. Specifically, we see a “cloud-first” trend with start-ups more popular and prevalent because of reduced investment in technology and on-demand scalability that cloud is able to offer. 

However, we see a hybrid approach where organizations are keeping some core and critical business applications like ERP, mailing, customized applications with proprietary business logic etc in their own data centre (on-prem) and move non-critical workloads/applications to cloud (CRM, analytics etc).

In a multi-cloud environment, an enterprise utilizes multiple public cloud services, most often from different cloud providers. For example, an organization might host its web front-end application or CRM on AWS and host its Exchange servers on Microsoft Azure. 

Since all cloud providers are having different services and their own strengths and weaknesses, organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy to deliver best of breed IT services, to prevent lock-in to a single cloud provider, or to take advantage of cloud arbitrage and choose providers for specific services based on which provider is offering the lowest price at that time.

2. Containerization 

Globally over the last two decades, we have seen an increasing trend in the adoption of virtualization of physical IT infrastructure (compute, storage and network). Physical to Virtual (P2V) is the approach that has gone very popular to optimise the cost of IT resources. 

However, with the increasing demand to make applications ready for cloud, (public or private) changing monolithic legacy applications to microservice based architecture, microservice based applications are required to be containerized and are to be managed through an orchestration platform.

Containers have become popular because they provide a powerful tool for addressing several critical concerns of application developers, including the need for faster delivery, agility, portability, modernization and life cycle management.

By 2022, as per Gartner estimates more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 30% today.

 3. Edge Computing

Today we see everything around us getting connected to cloud and we are fetching data (structured and unstructured) from machines, people, assets, plants, cars, appliances etc through wearables, RFID tags, cameras, sensors and satellite images. This massive data has to be processed to get some meaningful insight.

At times, it is not possible to transmit this massive data from thousands of devices to the on-prem data centres and cloud for processing with the desired latency, it’s important to build data storage and processing capabilities on the edge itself. With the advent of technologies like IoT, analytics and 5G we can build Edge Computing capabilities where the data is processed and analysed right at the location and required insight is being provided.

The classic example of Edge Computing can be enabling use cases like automated / connected cars, adaptive traffic control system and content delivery at the edge for faster video streaming.

4. Cost Optimization

When organizations embrace their multi-cloud journey, it is very much important to keep a close watch on their monthly bills to make sure you do “continuous optimization” across the cloud services that they are availing.

There are basically two ways you can do cost optimization on cloud:

  1. Scheduling– you need to understand at what time how much IT resources are being consumed and accordingly schedule / divert IT resources.
  2. Size of the resources- it is important to keep track of how much compute, memory and storage per VM is being actually consumed by your application and should keep on re-sizing resources. 

There are some tools and platforms available which give you visibility and control across your multi-cloud environment for you to be able to do continuous cost optimization.

5. Cloud Security and Environment 

It is a shared responsibility to protect data on cloud and on-prem between organizations and cloud service providers. All major Hyperscalers (AWS, Azure and Google) offer data encryption (source and inflight) as a part of their managed services. 

Organizations must plan for a very robust data protection policy (backup and disaster recovery) to make sure there are enough copies of data available in case of any cyber-attacks. 

Be it on-prem or on cloud, we have to consider factors like power consumption to run the IT resources, a cooling requirement for the environmental impact. Many Hyperscalers and large scale data centres are powering up their data centres with renewable energy.