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Clouds, AI, IoT, and the inability for the world to make up its mind


The world of IT is ever-changing—and by that I mean will it ever make up its mind as to what trend comes next? For instance, just a few short years ago everything was about the fear of moving to the cloud. Then, a few short years (if not months) after that trend, came the fear of not moving to the cloud. Then, as of today, we have a fear of not knowing whether or not to move to the cloud, be a private cloud, or be both—a tough decision for anyone.

However, though the marketing folks of the big cloud providers will tell you that public cloud is the way to go, that’s not necessarily the case for many companies. And though the reasons may vary, many simply cannot move to the cloud due to legal and compliance reasons—no matter how much they may want to.

That said, there are now more reasons why on-prem cloud is becoming the “new thing,” and by that I mean “the old thing”… and by that I mean … ok, let’s move on.

This new/old thing is twofold and has everything to do with the concepts behind digital transformation. You see, as companies strive to create highly advanced, data-first applications, the true private cloud world begins to emerge. In fact, it’s these emerging application patterns that revolve around data and advanced analytics that is causing the need for on-prem equipment. With the advent of cloud-based technologies such as IoT, AI, and more—the subsequent weight of data begins to grow exponentially.

It’s this growth that is an important aspect of the need for private cloud. For instance, when AI is introduced into the enterprise environment, chances are that it is being used to analyze and track data, as well as augment the cumbersome aspects of data administration—the constant battle between operations and engagement. In fact, when you calculate the usage of IoT and AI alone, reports show that more than three exabytes of data per day are being produced already. A number that will continue to grow as usage of the technology continues to be implemented.

As an outcome of this data and its cumbersome nature, it’s estimated that close to 90% of that data will ultimately reside inside a private cloud environment, with only 10% being pushed out to public cloud options. This is where this cloud trend becomes far more interesting. The outcome is simple—with new technologies the concept of all companies going hybrid-cloud is a necessity—creating the need for internal infrastructure growth and the adoption of public cloud for some things, just not all.

Here’s an example: Going back to the origins of cloud, the idea that applications could be hosted in the cloud (off-prem) along with data and more was a fantastic idea—one that is still viable to this day. However, the cloud is becoming something far greater than the sum of its parts. Beyond just an off-site storage dump and expansion tool, now cloud represents innovation and disruption within markets through everything from IoT, DevOps, containers, AI and machine learning, and so on. It’s this innovation, paired with the subsequent growth in data that has pushed companies back inside their own four walls for many of their processes.

So, what are companies to do? Hybrid-cloud is an inevitable move for almost every company. The need to offset costs of data storage and many daily processes are all a perfect fit for public cloud consumption. However, the flip side to this is that if companies are to innovate and leverage cloud for all its worth, the private cloud component must be well planned and architected in such a manner that the roll-out of new business models and offerings is not hindered by the speed of the public cloud scenario.

And like everything else, the tipping point of social consumption of new technology happens in the blink of an eye. The question becomes: Is your company ready for that tipping point?