4 Trends That Will Change How Companies Invest in Cloud in 2018

The cloud is forever changing how we look at IT. Over the past years, we’ve had a front seat view of how the cloud has evolved and how large companies and industries are changing practices internally toward a response that looks more and more like  the innovation leaders have read about (and that some, mostly in the Valley, seem to assume exists a priori everywhere). The definition of client-server has changed, there are increasing levels of abstraction, and the ability to ship code without caring too much about the server is going mainstream as cloud vendors continue to replace the traditional  IT stack.

After spending a week talking with customers and thousands of IT professionals at AWS re:Invent last November, I had a pretty clear confirmation of what’s next. Software continues to disrupt how companies in most industries do business and cloud computing is now accelerating this trend. In turn, companies will continue to invest in building their software and their own internal set of skills to make it possible.

Cloud skills—today a very broad and expanding set of skills—will be the most important asset for staying competitive in your market.

Let’s take a look at the major trends impacting how companies will invest in the cloud in 2018.

1. Cloud-enabled software is the next big shift in the enterprise

When Werner Vogels announced AWS Lambda at AWS re:Invent 2014, Serverless wasn’t widely known. AWS Lambda was one of many announcements but probably the most important one at the time. Since then, AWS has been shifting from “infrastructure” announcements to software announcements.

AWS was built as a set of primitives that allow a business to use specific resources in the cloud (think of compute with EC2, storage with S3, etc.). This model is now evolving and moving up the stack to provide primitives that are software components. While some cloud vendors are providing a complete software solution, many are creating tools and frameworks that empower new technologies like machine learning, AI, data management, etc.

Public cloud vendors are essentially becoming software vendors. This represents a huge shift in how we think about the role of cloud providers and cloud computing inside an organization. In 2018, I expect this trend to gain even more traction: as more enterprises move their workloads to a public cloud, more will take that next step of using cloud software components and technologies to build new capabilities into their software.

In 2017, Google, AWS, and Azure launched new software on top of their public platforms. By contrast, 2018 will be the year that enterprises deploy new technologies inside their organizations to redefine processes, skills, and speed in response to updates and changes. Companies will need to continue to get better at the process of building and deploying software to remain competitive.

As the cloud becomes more and more about software and primitives that offer new capabilities, this is triggering the need for new skills across the organization.

2. Skills strategy and investments will grow exponentially

How will the enterprise compete in a digital world where software is a key component of products and services? Having the right skills in-house is an essential place to start.

The demand for advanced skills in cloud and software development is already several times larger than the current pool of talent and resources can support. There’s no indication that this gap will shrink in 2018.

Of the leading public cloud vendors, AWS led the pack in 2017 with an average of 3.5 new feature releases per day. Companies that use any AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform components in their infrastructure can’t risk development and maintenance delays due to a skill gap. Even more unacceptable to management will be an inability to implement new security services or to deliver on costs.

As a result, companies must be able to keep their teams’ skills up to date to maintain their software and to take advantage of the latest services and technologies that platforms offer.

As skills continue to be a critical asset and as the competition for tech talent continues to heat up, I expect companies to make an even greater investment in building these skills from within and rely less on outsourcing. As we’ve written in a previous post on how to build your tech talent pipeline, investing in existing teams will pave the way for the growth and scale needed tomorrow.

3. Enterprise companies will double down on building their own certification paths

An increasing number of options across the cloud ecosystem has brought increasing complexity for enterprises. Internal requirements for performance and cost savings are driving more and more companies to adopt multi-cloud environments. Doing so allows companies to apply a best tech / best-fit approach that enables flexibility for teams. We see enterprise teams building highly customized environments with specific tool and technology combinations in order to maintain legacy applications, deal with regulatory compliance, and to limit/modify the way their developers and teams consume services on AWS, Azure, or Google.

On top of this, companies are using cloud technologies to build their services and products and frequently have specific requirements for the skills and capabilities that they want on their teams. As cloud environments become more customized, teams will need skills that meet the needs of their business and not necessarily the requirements of a single vendor’s platform.
For these reasons and more, in 2018  we will see companies double down on building their own certification paths that align with specific skill requirements by technology, domain, and job function. (As a result, at Cloud Academy, we’re having a number of conversations about our Content Engine technology, which allows for customized training paths that deliver ongoing training to teams on the precise technologies and tools in the context of their current environments).

4. Enterprise transformation success will boil down to designing and executing a sound, multi-year cloud transformation strategy

When we talk about cloud today, instead of talking about migrations on AWS or Azure and the “right” conditions for migration, the conversation has shifted to defining a cloud transformation strategy. Becoming cloud native and implementing DevOps methodologies are complex operations for most companies, and the changes require both technical and cultural shifts inside an organization. In a 10,000+-person organization, it requires designing a strategy that addresses tools, applications, and culture, and that can scale to support different roles and teams. The C-Suite will be pressured to focus on measurement, and they’ll look for ways to track progress in these areas over time.

We hear it all the time—fundamentally transforming how organizations operate is hard work. Moving to DevOps requires careful planning since the changes touch multiple departments’ people and processes.

In 2018, companies will invest more time and money in the people and tools that support the design and implementation of cloud migration strategies. On the people side of the equation, we will see an effort to consolidate external and internal training solutions into a single solution that supports companies’ full paths to transformation. We’re already seeing companies moving in this direction, and I predict that we will see more companies with their own cloud transformation strategy establish dedicated technical teams to support it.

Stefano Bellasio

Written by

Stefano Bellasio

Stefano's a computer engineering guy that loves building products. He's the CEO and co-founder of CloudAcademy.com. All his experience is in the web hosting and cloud computing industry where he started other companies before. He loves talking with all readers of Cloud Academy blog, so feel free to email him at stefano@cloudacademy.com!


Related Posts

Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 16, 2019

AWS Security: Bastion Host, NAT instances and VPC Peering

Effective security requires close control over your data and resources. Bastion hosts, NAT instances, and VPC peering can help you secure your AWS infrastructure. Welcome to part four of my AWS Security overview. In part three, we looked at network security at the subnet level. This ti...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Sudhi Seshachala
— October 9, 2019

Top 13 Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Best Practices

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) brings a host of advantages to the table, including static private IP addresses, Elastic Network Interfaces, secure bastion host setup, DHCP options, Advanced Network Access Control, predictable internal IP ranges, VPN connectivity, movement of interna...

Read more
  • AWS
  • best practices
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 2, 2019

Big Changes to the AWS Certification Exams

With AWS re:Invent 2019 just around the corner, we can expect some early announcements to trickle through with upcoming features and services. However, AWS has just announced some big changes to their certification exams. So what’s changing and what’s new? There is a brand NEW ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— October 1, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: ITIL® 4, Microsoft 365 Tenant, Jenkins, TOGAF® 9.1, and more

At Cloud Academy, we're always striving to make improvements to our training platform. Based on your feedback, we released some new features to help make it easier for you to continue studying. These new features allow you to: Remove content from “Continue Studying” section Disc...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • ITIL® 4
  • Jenkins
  • Microsoft 365 Tenant
  • New content
  • Product Feature
  • Python programming
  • TOGAF® 9.1
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— September 27, 2019

AWS Security Groups: Instance Level Security

Instance security requires that you fully understand AWS security groups, along with patching responsibility, key pairs, and various tenancy options. As a precursor to this post, you should have a thorough understanding of the AWS Shared Responsibility Model before moving onto discussi...

Read more
  • AWS
  • instance security
  • Security
  • security groups
Avatar
Jeremy Cook
— September 17, 2019

Cloud Migration Risks & Benefits

If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations dri...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Migration
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 12, 2019

Real-Time Application Monitoring with Amazon Kinesis

Amazon Kinesis is a real-time data streaming service that makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze data so you can get quick insights and react as fast as possible to new information.  With Amazon Kinesis you can ingest real-time data such as application logs, website clickstre...

Read more
  • amazon kinesis
  • AWS
  • Stream Analytics
  • Streaming data
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 6, 2019

Google Cloud Functions vs. AWS Lambda: The Fight for Serverless Cloud Domination

Serverless computing: What is it and why is it important? A quick background The general concept of serverless computing was introduced to the market by Amazon Web Services (AWS) around 2014 with the release of AWS Lambda. As we know, cloud computing has made it possible for users to ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 3, 2019

Google Vision vs. Amazon Rekognition: A Vendor-Neutral Comparison

Google Cloud Vision and Amazon Rekognition offer a broad spectrum of solutions, some of which are comparable in terms of functional details, quality, performance, and costs. This post is a fact-based comparative analysis on Google Vision vs. Amazon Rekognition and will focus on the tech...

Read more
  • Amazon Rekognition
  • AWS
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Google Vision
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— August 30, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: CISSP, AWS, Azure, & DevOps Labs, Python for Beginners, and more…

As Hurricane Dorian intensifies, it looks like Floridians across the entire state might have to hunker down for another big one. If you've gone through a hurricane, you know that preparing for one is no joke. You'll need a survival kit with plenty of water, flashlights, batteries, and n...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • New content
  • Product Feature
  • Python programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— August 27, 2019

Amazon Route 53: Why You Should Consider DNS Migration

What Amazon Route 53 brings to the DNS table Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service offered by AWS. It is named by the TCP or UDP port 53, which is where DNS server requests are addressed. Like any DNS service, Route 53 handles domain regist...

Read more
  • Amazon
  • AWS
  • Cloud Migration
  • DNS
  • Route 53
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— August 22, 2019

How to Unlock Complimentary Access to Cloud Academy

Are you looking to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Cloud Security, Python, Java, or another technical skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendars for August 23, 2019. Starting Friday at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), Cloud Academy is offering c...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloud academy content
  • complimentary access
  • GCP
  • on the house