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Cloud: Technology Trends To Watch Out For In 2021

Biswajit Mohapatra, Partner, Executive Director, Hybrid Cloud Transformation Services, IBM

Cloud adoption has witnessed significant acceleration after dramatic inflection point of Covid-19 pandemic. Unprecedented disruptions are giving rise to new era of Digital Reinvention built on secured Hybrid Multicloud foundation. CIOs are increasingly focusing on business model reinvention, actionable insights, orchestrated ecosystem and flexible operations. Hybrid multicloud is the new cloud that is powering intelligent workflows, exponential technologies and Nextgen applications towards journey to the Cognitive Enterprise.

Cloud Is Coming Of Age
While Cloud 1.0 emphasized on standardization and cost optimization, Cloud 2.0 focuses on unlocking the door to agile innovation and rebuilding businesses around experience. The outside-in approach of migrating workloads to cloud is undergoing metamorphosis into inside-out cloud modernization.

Unleashing the Power of Cloud
The new paradigm of hybrid cloud drives ecosystems and economies to monetize value underpinning compos able business. It promises portability, interoperability, improved responsiveness and freedom from vendor lock-in to drive business outcomes. Looking towards 2021, there is significant focus onadapting to efficient, contactless, low-touch and resilient business model fueled by Hybrid cloud transformation.

The cloud computing trends that will redefine the new world order:

1. The shift to Hybrid Cloud Modernization
Cloud modernization will take centerstage to deliver flexible, scalable and cost-efficient business innovation. Hybrid cloud as winning enterprise architecture will facilitate emergence of architecture-driven modernization, strangling of monoliths, API economy, micro services and containerization.

Hybrid cloud will become foundation of new platform economy and propel move from vertical to horizontal operating models.

2. Rise Of Cloud-Native Computing
Cloud-native computing brings the agility of a startup to the scale of an enterprise. Adoption of Cloud-native applications built with NextGenplat forms, designed with microservices, packaged in containers, deployed on elastic cloud infrastructure and managed through DevSecOps workflows will proliferate. There will be surge of low-code and no-code platforms in coming days. The evolving cloud-native landscape is set to deliver increased efficiency, development velocity and resiliency embracing build once, deploy anywhere, manage consistently philosophy.

3. Exploiting Exponential Technologies
A business-driven data strategy should be an integral part of hybrid cloud architecture. Hybrid Cloud platform will democratize data with AI / ML unlocking the value of data for predictable results. Business processes will be redesigned through AI / ML, RPA, Blockchain and IoT to deliver Humanized experience, selfaware operations.

4. Automated Multicloud Orchestration And Management
Hyper-automation augmented by Exponential Technologies is a game changer for Multicloud Orchestration and management. 2021 will see Open-source tools helping to unify clouds, thereby pushing interoperability to the next level and increase prevalence of Software-defined Infrastructure as code.

5. Cybersecurity: More Important Than Ever
With the changing landscape of cyber-attacks, there will be increased need for implementation of zero-trust security, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE),- Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) and Cloud Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) capabilities and threat modelling techniques. Confidential Computing and Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) based on advanced encryption standards will help enterprises make the final push to Hybrid cloud.

Cloud modernization will take center stage to deliver flexible, scalable and cost-efficient business innovation

6. High Performance Computing Goes Mainstream
High performance computing will combine processing capability and storage capacity in Hybrid cloud environment to deliver scalability and performance. There will be emergence of HPC based on open standards hardware and open-source software to solve complex computational problems. Cloud will democratize HPC at scale and make the unthinkable computing possible by hyperscalers with HPC-as-a-service model.

7. Edge And 5Gunlocking New Opportunities
5G architecture will simplify wide-spread adoption of edge computing. This will enhance Digital experience, improve performance and enable operational efficiency. Edge computing will bring computation and data closer to the location. AI at the Edge will provide significant boost to hybrid cloud infrastructure, improve security and privacy posture. There will be significant shift in transforming networks from virtualization to cloudification.

8. Quantum Computing Gains Momentum
Quantum on cloud will reinvent the world of business and technology. With a promise of optimized solutions, improved AI capability and accelerated research, Quantum on cloud will be the game changer in coming days.

9. The Dawn Of Cognitive Enterprise
Co-creation of client’s business platform on a hybrid cloud infrastructure adhering to culture of open innovation will accelerate Cognitive transformation. Hybrid cloud will pave the way through insights-driven engagement models, decision making capabilities and optimized workloads.

The future of business is redefined by Digital, remote and hybrid multicloud. Hybrid is the reality and multi is the choice. Cloud will continue to be the question as well as the answer to the Digital maze. Now it’s time for enterprises to future-skill their workforce to meet the growing challenges and opportunities. Cloud will be the melting pot of infinite possibilities, unrestricted flexibility and unhindered innovation in 2021 and beyond.

Biswajit is Partner and Executive Director, Hybrid Cloud Transformation Services at IBM. Biswajit is recognized as Global Top 50 Thought Leaders and Influencers on cloud computing. He is multiple CIO awards winner, DevOps Institute Ambassador and AWS APN Ambassador. Biswajit has several patents, publications on hybrid cloud. He is also Member, Board of Studies, Faculty of Computer Science at Symbiosis and Board Member, IIBA Pune chapter.

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