After reading through Cisco's newly released Global Cloud Index (GCI), I was reminded of the old Bruce Barton saying: "When you are through changing, you are through." In many ways, cloud computing is soon to reach its peak in terms of enterprise adoption. So, in some regard, we may think that the great IT story of cloud computing is over. Yet, there are other areas of the GCI report that show dramatic change -- and thus our journey is far from over.
Take, for instance, the prediction that by 2021 "94% of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers" while only "6% will be processed by traditional data centers." This points out the fact that the cloud computing space is maturing. Cloud migration projects will soon end, and the lagging 6% -- those on-premises workloads -- will likely die off in the data center where they currently reside. So, effectively, Cisco is predicting that virtually everything businesses do, the compute, storage and networking, will be handled in a public or private cloud.
Speaking of public vs. private clouds, another tend that the GCI predicts will continue is the dominance of Software as a Service (SaaS) as the go-to cloud delivery model. In fact, it is predicted that three quarters of all cloud workloads and compute instances will use a SaaS model. That's up 4% from 2016. The continued growth into SaaS will come at the expense of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which is expected to decline to just 16% by 2021.
The eventual end of the need for cloud migration along with further interest in a pure-SaaS cloud model show the same trends we've been witnessing over the past five to 10 years. So, in that sense, nothing is really changing. However, when you dig into the GCI stats a bit more, you find some exciting new trends that paint a picture of renewed growth and continued exploration into what cloud architectures can offer enterprise organizations.
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