What is the
future
of cloud computing?

How the scope of cloud computing will continue to expand, transforming how we live and work.

In “The Second Coming- A Manifesto” published in 1999, David Gelernter predicted a computational cosmos, connecting people directly with information.

“Today's operating systems and browsers are obsolete because people no longer want to be connected to computers — near ones OR remote ones. (They probably never did). They want to be connected to information. In the future, people are connected to cyberbodies; cyberbodies drift in the computational cosmos — also known as the Swarm, the Cybersphere.” David Gelernter, The Second Coming- A Manifesto 12/31/1999

Today, Gelernter’s theory has come close to reality. Cloud computing has quickly gained mainstream adoption, connecting businesses and consumers to data everywhere they go via mobile devices. However, the impact and transformation of the cloud is just beginning.

Bandwidth Alternatives

Cloud adoption around the world has been inhibited by lack of access to bandwidth. 2/3rds of the world’s population doesn’t have internet access.

Inverse Cloud Models

Also known as machine-to-machine computing -- distributes data transmission among routers and endpoints, rather than sending them to a server and back. Data doesn’t have to travel as far, reducing latency. This alternative is seen as a less bandwidth-intensive path for applications of the Internet of Things (IoT).

High Altitude Long Operation

HALO is a project that deploys lightweight planes to provide DSL quality data delivery. Angel Technologies plans to launch a series of metropolitan area networks in which a single aircraft will service users within a 60 mile area. This wireless solution leads to almost no interference.

Solar-Powered Drones

Google’s own project to expand Internet access is a solar-powered aircraft with a larger wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighing less than a passenger car. The project is still in infancy stages, but the goal is to have the lightweight drones hover at about 65,000 feet transmitting Internet.

Project Loon

Google’s second project consists of a network of balloons transmitting Internet access. The project has been tested in select locations as Google seeks to improve the technology.

https://youtu.be/OFGW2sZsUiQ

Net Neutrality

Should all Internet traffic be treated equally? What role should the government play in regulating the Internet? Broadband providers argue low latency data should be given higher priority while others contend that the Internet is supposed to be shared equally.

Potential solutions include reclassifying broadband as a telecommunication service, a fast and slow “lane” for broadband and private arrangements between providers.

net neutrality

Cloud Expansion and Consolidation

While specialized services are expected to expand the cloud in the near future, cloud storage providers are expected to consolidate over the coming years.

Amazon Reigns

Amazon has 28 percent of the worldwide market for cloud infrastructure services, followed by Microsoft with 10 percent.

Amazon’s cloud is 10x bigger than the next 14 competitors combined.

Amazon generated $1.57 billion in first-quarter sales alone in 2015.

Rise of Alibaba

Amazon has faced scant competition as it has sought to expand globally, except for in China. Aliyun, Alibaba Group Holding’s cloud computing service, serves more than 1.4 million customers.

Race to Zero

Cloud providers continue to drop the price of cloud storage year-after-year, leading some to believe that cloud storage will eventually be free or very close to it. For providers this means the real race lies in finding an added service customers are willing to pay well for.

1993: $9,000
2013: $0.04

Computer hardware is getting cheaper: 1 GB of storage on a hard drive cost $9,000 in 1993. It cost $0.04 in 2013.

By 2014, Amazon had 47 price cuts in six years.

In 2015, Google lowered its prices to be significantly lower than Amazon’s.

Specialty Services

Data-centric platforms focused on delivering Hadoop, data streaming, and in-memory databases will continue to expand how the cloud is used.

The IDC predicts a tenfold increase in new cloud solutions in the next four years with many being big data intensive.

Internet of Things

25 billion objects are already online worldwide. The IDC predicts the number of Internet-connected devices will double over the next five years.

Two out of three consumers expect to access work data via facial or voice recognition.

Seven out of 10 consumers believe wearable devices that actively monitor our health will be available by 2025.

https://youtu.be/TkV1JMvtivA

Security Risks

70 percent of the most commonly used IT devices have serious security vulnerabilities.

Common Security Risks Include:

Loss or theft of personal data collected on inter-connected devices

Hackers infiltrating critical infrastructure or taking over medical devices

Data pipeline vulnerabilities

Security Initiatives Spring Up

BuildItSecure.ly is a partnership of vendors and researchers focused on helping IoT startups build their products securely.

The Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative is pushing for the development of technical recommendations for the IoT.

Are you interested in cloud adoption?

Check out this free (and ungated) resource for understanding cloud computing.