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
Cloud Academy Team
— July 9, 2020

Which Certifications Should I Get?

As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 2, 2020

New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More

This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 19, 2020

Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy

Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill?Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloud academy content
  • complimentary access
  • GCP
  • on the house
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 11, 2020

New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More

This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Rebecca Willis
Rebecca Willis
— June 3, 2020

Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?

More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • certification
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 2, 2020

Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More

Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— May 11, 2020

New Content: Alibaba, Azure Cert Prep: AI-100, AZ-104, AZ-204 & AZ-400, Amazon Athena Playground, Google Cloud Developer Challenge, and much more

This month, our Content Team released 8 new learning paths, 4 courses, 7 labs in real cloud environments, and 4 new knowledge check assessments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first course on Alibaba Cloud, and our expert instructors are working 'round the clock to create 6 n...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • gitops
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • lab playground
  • programming
Avatar
Rhonda Martinez
— May 4, 2020

Top 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified Right Now

Cloud computing trends are on the rise and have been for some time already. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start learning cloud computing. Skills like AWS and others associated with cloud computing are in high demand because cloud technologies have become crucial for many businesse...

Read more
  • Amazon Elastic Book Store
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • Glacier
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— May 1, 2020

Introducing Our Newest Lab Environments: Lab Playgrounds

Want to train in a real cloud environment, but feel slowed down by spinning up your own deployments? When you consider security or pricing costs, it can be costly and challenging to get up to speed quickly for self-training. To solve this problem, Cloud Academy created a new suite of la...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Docker
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Java
  • lab playgrounds
  • Python
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 30, 2020

Blog Digest: AWS Breaking News, Azure DevOps, AWS Study Guide, 8 Ways to Prevent a Ransomware Attack, and More

  New articles by topicAWS Azure Data Science Google Cloud  Cloud Adoption Platform Updates & New Content Security Women in TechAWSBreaking News: All AWS Certification Exams Now Available Online As an Advanced AWS Technology Partner, C...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • programming
  • Security
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— April 27, 2020

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

Want to take a really impactful step in your technical career? Explore the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certificate. Its new version (SAA-C02) was released on March 23, 2020, though you can still take SAA-C01 through July 1, 2020. This post will focus on version SAA-C02.The AWS...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 9, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solutions Architect Exam Prep, Azure Courses, GCP Engineer Exam Prep, Programming, and More

Free content on Cloud Academy More and more customers are relying on our technology and content to keep upskilling their people in these months, and we are doing our best to keep supporting them. While the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to make a small contribution to he...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming