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04 December 2017

Even as multi-cloud, SaaS and PaaS adoption continues to grow, new trends like AI and edge computing are reinventing the cloud.

Cloud computing has made significant inroads into many organisations in the past few years. What can be expected in 2018? Businesses will continue to use cloud technology to better align with business goals and to progress in their journey towards digital transformation. Look out for these eight cloud trends: What can be expected in 2018?


1. Organisations prefer multi-cloud approach

2. Security concerns drive organisations to cloud architectures

3. SaaS and PaaS will be the fastest growing cloud services

4. Greater adoption of public cloud application services drives middleware SaaS subscription services

5. China, India lead in cloud adoption in Asia-Pacific

6. Artificial intelligence to put new spin on cloud

7. Demand for containers to reach a high in 2018

8. Edge computing momentum due to demand for greater agility and faster processing


1. No Stopping Multi-Cloud Organisations will increasingly prefer a multi-cloud approach where they work with cloud providers for various applications. IDC predicts that by 2020 more than 90% of enterprise IT organisations will use multi-cloud architectures1. Multi-cloud adoption is driven by digital transformation as users’ expectations of IT are raised. According to IDC, most businesses now think 'cloud first' when it comes to IT strategy, as the benefits of cloud are clear and have been broadly demonstrated in most industries2.


2. Security Challenges Remain a Concern As cybersecurity attacks become more sophisticated and remain a key concern, it will drive some organisations to turn to cloud service providers who are able to offer more robust data security protection than what organisations can manage.

More than 40% of organisations are ready to invest in additional security guarantees before they embark on their cloud adoption3. Cloud service providers will also be working to provide even more sophisticated and timely responses to cybersecurity attacks.


3. SaaS, PaaS see highest growth The highest growth for cloud services in the mature Asia-Pacific market comes from software as a service (SaaS) with a 28.5% increase in 2017. This is followed by platform as a service (PaaS) which will experience a growth of 26.7%, according to Gartner4 . The research firm categorises Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea as countries in the mature Asia-Pacific market. 


4. Demand for middleware SaaS subscription services Middleware SaaS subscription services will grow from US$2 billion in 2015 to US$4 billion in 2018 at a 20% CAGR in the Asia-Pacific, according to Forrester5.

This is driven by businesses adopting more public cloud application services, and so need to integrate cloud and on-premises applications, and to store and share ever-growing volumes of electronic content.


5. China, India are cloud powerhouses in Asia-Pacific China and India will emerge as cloud powerhouses in the Asia-Pacific, generating revenue of over US$1.59 billion and $851 million respectively with a CAGR of 27% and 24% through 2020, according to 451 Research6. The two countries together account for about 30% of the Asia-Pacific market.

With an estimated 200 cloud vendors in India and China, the fast growth of cloud is partly driven by government-led cloud initiatives and incentives. Governments in both countries are heavy cloud users as they aim to create a technology-driven modern society and inspire innovation.


6. Artificial intelligence to reinvent cloud Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning will reinvent cloud computing. By 2018, 75% of developer teams will include cognitive/Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality in one or more applications, and virtually all of those AI services will be sourced from the cloud7, says IDC. IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services have started to utilise AI and machine learning to deliver cloud services.

IBM has an AI-powered cloud-based platform to facilitate decision-making, and Microsoft's Azure now offers at least 20 cognitive cloud services.


7. Growing demand for containers The demand for containers is expected to reach a high in 2018 as they evolve to offer more efficiency, enhanced security and scalability. IDC predicts that by 2021, enterprise apps will shift toward hyper-agile architectures, with 80% of application development on cloud platforms using microservices and functions, and over 95% of new microservices deployed in containers8.


8. Cloud on the Edge Edge computing is growing in popularity as certain applications require real-time processing that the agility of the cloud may not be able to provide and where latency is an issue. Enterprises need to start considering an edge strategy, and should begin using edge design patterns in their infrastructure architectures — particularly for those with significant Internet of Things (IoT) elements, according to Gartner9. A good starting point could be to use colocation and edge-specific networking capabilities.

The cloud can be implemented with edge computing, where the cloud is used to create the service-oriented model and edge computing offers a delivery style that allows for executions of disconnected aspects of cloud service.


1 IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Coud 2018 Predictions

2 IDC FutureScape: Worlwide Cloud 201 Predictions

3 Netwrix Cloud Secuty Survey 2015


5 Forrester: Asia Pacific Tech Market Outlook For 2017 to 2018






NOTE: This article is based on expert opinions and observations that are paraphrased and extracted from credible market research data. IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2018 Predictions IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2018 Predictions Netwrix Cloud Security Survey 2015.

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