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What’s New in the Cloud?

September 2, 2021

What’s New in the Cloud?

As chief technology officer at a cloud company, I am often asked about what changes and trends I see in this rapidly evolving industry. First and foremost, a big one right now is the concentration of both providers and consumers on data security and protection. Consumers are beginning to realize their deployment and governance models must be updated for cloud consumption; their existing models for managing on-premises environments are no longer built-for-purpose. At the same time, providers are developing the security of their computing environments while simultaneously releasing to market dedicated cloud security macro and micro services.

The next largest trend I see is the democratization of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Yesterday, these were merely the purview of larger organizations that had heavily invested in internal talent. Today, smaller organizations can leverage these cloud-enabled algorithms with little upfront investment of infrastructure or training.

So how is this different than the cloud market was a few years ago? For one, the rise of competitors. It was not long-ago Amazon was the sole dominant force in the market. Now, not only are there far more hyperscalar options, but private cloud vendors have arisen to provide industry or application specific cloud options. Another key difference is high-profile cloud deployment repatriations. For example, Dropbox made many headlines when they reversed course and brought their entire cloud deployment back in house, providing tremendous gains in profitability. Now, many organizations of large scale are beginning to question the economics of the consumption-based hyperscalar cloud providers. This is forcing them to further innovate higher value services such as artificial intelligence to continue providing value.

I still believe there are many strong benefits and use cases for enterprises that use cloud computing techniques and tools, including security. Somewhat counterintuitively, transitions to cloud models are continuing to provide organizations with a robust increase to the strength of their security posture. It will always be a model of shared responsibility between the consumer and the provider, but the organization now has a significantly smaller attack surface on which to focus and the provider’s security investment in the compute platform will always outpace any individual customer’s budget and ability. On-demand access to the newest technologies is another key benefit. Organizations can now deploy the latest technologies with the click of a few buttons to perform a week’s worth of testing, where previously, it would have required significant investment. Innovation cycles are dramatically shorter using this ad hoc access with no term commitment.

Will your system work better on a blockchain ledger? Deploy one today, test it for a week, and then tear it down. Its always fascinating to see the innovative ways enterprises in any industry are using the cloud to transform their business. It will be interesting to see what’s next!


Matt Donahue is CTO at CloudWave.