Cloud computing has moved far away from the exclusive realm of early adopters. Cloud tech is on track to pervade more of the enterprise space and change how developers leverage its capability. A recent report by Forrester has identified key developments that are set to shape the cloud landscape in the upcoming year. Out of all them and other predictions, here are the 5 big trends we think will most impact developers and how they’ll use the cloud.
Creating systems and migrating them to the cloud demands a special skillset, separate from standard IT infrastructure design. The ability to individually configure each element within applications or services are replaced by a standardised toolset. This toolset must be integrated and can seldom be changed. This ultimately results in less flexibility when using a public cloud service.
This challenge is motivating organisations to develop their ability, through research and training, to perform successful migrations onto cloud platforms. In 2015 and 2016 many global companies such as Amazon and Microsoft set up factories with the sole purpose of cloud migration. These companies are also starting to hire and train many cloud architects, consultants and developers. Expect to see this trend grow and continue into 2017.
Cloud containers provide a portable and low-cost alternative to virtual machines. There are very few organisations that wouldn’t benefit from implementing cloud containers into their infrastructure. Forrester predicts that Linux containers will be implemented into every major private and public cloud platform by early 2017. Developers will be able to integrate them into their own development stacks.
Containers introduce a whole host of new challenges. Security and management strategies are the primary concerns. Containers promise to provide developers with a streamlined and easy-to-deploy way of implementing specific micro-services and infrastructure into existing systems.
A primary goal for cloud technology is to develop an optimal platform strategy through complexity reduction. This will determine what needs to be managed internally versus what can be paid to be managed. This takes some of the grunt work off developers, who could then use that time to focus on new solutions and opportunities for the business. Lead-time for developers will be significantly reduced by taking advantage of cloud technologies. Environments that facilitate product innovation and rapid development will be cultivated. This year will see a shift in focus away from purely developer productivity to fostering developer creativity.
Platform provider dynamics
For some organisations it may become beneficial to use multiple providers to manage operations. Workloads may be dynamically moved between cloud providers, as enterprises become more inundated with the cloud and its benefits. Platform providers will inevitably respond with competitive pricing and functionality. Developers will then need to design their cloud services to smoothly adapt to different platforms and providers. It will fall on the shoulders of the developers to provide an efficient means of shifting from one to the other with a minimal impact on existing services, lest they risk continually swapping one legacy service for another.
The opportunity to develop cloud-based machine learning tools is set to deliver real value to organisations. Developers may spend this year more focused on cognitive apps and smart analytics cloud integration. IBM, Google, AWS and Microsoft all offer machine learning API’s via their cloud platforms, making it easier for developers to build services that can adapt to data-driven insights. 2017 promises to be a year of cognitive cloud advancements.
The possibilities of the cloud are limited by the ingenuity of developers and their enterprises. Google has deemed the current state, Cloud 2.0 – ushering in a second wave of innovation and progress. These examples are but a few factors that may impact the industry. They promise an exciting prospect for developers with progress, efficiency and innovation at the forefront of their minds.
If you’re interested in learning more about the latest developments in cloud computing and how they could impact your career, check out our Cloud 2017 conference @CeBIT.