6 trends that are shaping the public and hybrid cloud market
Public and hybrid cloud services play an increasingly important role in scalable, automated, and intelligent enterprise applications in areas such as digital transformation, e-commerce, and the Internet of Things. This development is set to only grow further in importance in 2017 and beyond, as enterprises embrace the opportunities that the cloud can bring. Based on a recent Ovum report “The Outlook for Enterprise Cloud Services in 2017” on the state of play in enterprise cloud services, we take a look at some of the latest cloud developments and how our business customers will benefit from these key cloud trends.
#1. The lines are blurring between IaaS and Paas
A growing trend among public cloud providers is to converge infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) into portfolios of “building-block” tools and services that support applications through the full design, build, and run lifecycle. According to Ovum, a key reason for this is that customers and channel partners do not usually buy or use the services separately. “It’s this building-block nature of the public cloud offerings that appeals to developers, start-ups, systems integrators, and channel partners, as well as enterprises both large and small,” the consultancy said.
#2. The enterprise cloud has to support SAP S/4HANA
Hosted SAP services are certainly nothing new. Recently, Ovum has detected considerable interest among cloud service providers (CSPs) in the latest version of SAP’s Business Suite, S/4HANA. This is because as existing SAP customers consider upgrading to the latest S/4HANA versions of the core SAP applications, this will be the catalyst for many enterprises to move to some form of cloud.
#3. AI, ML and NLP
Deutsche Telekom is already placing a strong focus on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) with projects such as the Tinka chatbot at T-Mobile Austria and the group-wide eLIZA programme. Global cloud service providers are now adding AI and ML — the ability of a machine to learn without being explicitly programmed — to their cloud services; once again, the technology that underpins consumer technology such as virtual assistants will find its way into the business mainstream, disseminated by cloud. Ovum believes that enterprises will be increasingly receptive to moving more of their back-office enterprise applications and functionality to the cloud in order to exploit analytics, ML, and cognitive capabilities in back-office processes.
#4. The importance of the hybrid cloud model
Ovum pointed out that delivering a public cloud at global scale is too costly for many telecoms and IT service providers, and many have consequently positioned themselves to design, build, and run managed hybrid cloud. Several large enterprises also see the private cloud model as preferable to the public cloud for their mission-critical workloads for a number reasons, including security and privacy concerns. The goal of many cloud service providers and systems integrators is to help enterprises move to a hybrid cloud environment, where they can benefit from the best of both worlds.
#5. Local and industry certification is key
Efforts have also been made to assuage enterprise concerns about the public cloud within Europe: the National Cybersecurity Agency of France and the German Federal Office for Information Security, or BSI, have now come up with the umbrella ESCloud certification. The new ESCloud certificate is designed to instill confidence in customers that their providers’ cloud data centres have achieved internationally recognised standards of compliance, and encourage enterprises to move more of their business-critical workloads to a public as opposed to a private cloud.
#6. The orchestration layer is the new middleware
The key component that service providers need if they are to deliver a managed service around a hybrid IT environment — a term used to describe the situation for enterprises that are on the road to cloud and are managing legacy IT, private and public cloud — is some form of management or orchestration layer. The orchestration layer ensures that the right automated IT processes are executed in the right order to deliver a service. “Far from being a just a software tool to build workflows, the orchestration layer is a complex environment that needs to be integrated, customised, and optimized for the customer’s hybrid IT environment,” Ovum said.
Deutsche Telekom Group already supports its customers with enterprise cloud solutions that place a strong focus on security, performance, high availability, and seamless integration. Across 13 countries in the CEE region, we are consistently improving our offerings in line with these trends to become and remain the cloud partner of choice for all customer segments.
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