The growth in public cloud platforms and applications is just starting to hit its strides. In 2019, more companies will spend more money moving more of their applications and processes across to the public cloud. Many cloud markets will move into hypergrowth. Cloud computing adoption is moving beyond the fast adopters to the mass market – so dynamics are changing. Our top five predictions for 2019 are:
Many SaaS Applications Will Move into Hypergrowth
If you think that the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is a mature one, think again. Yes, cloud-based solution providers such as Salesforce have a lot of customers for their CRM and Marketing platforms, as do vendors such as Microsoft and Google for their collaboration suites – but even the cloud-based CRM market is set to explode in 2019 as the number of companies looking to deploy SaaS-based applications nearly doubles. Most companies across the globe still have most of their applications hosted in their own or partner data centres. The opportunity in the SaaS market is still huge – and will be that way for years to come. SaaS-based BI & Analytics will move from 10% of companies using it today to 21% in 2019, marketing applications from 10% to 24% and UC&C from 11% to 21%.
Security Will Return to Being the Number One Barrier to Public Cloud Adoption
As the cloud providers start to penetrate the “mass market” – involving companies that are not fast adopters and do not push the envelope and procrastinate over big technology or business decisions – expect the question of security to come up again. And again. And again… When public cloud first entered the business consciousness 10-12 years ago, security was the number one reason why companies did not embrace it. It slipped down the list over the past few years as more leading, fast moving businesses overcame this objection – but with more companies looking to implement public cloud services, more of the objectors are coming back out of the woodwork to make security a number one blocker again.
Partners Will Come Back into Fashion for Cloud Deployments
The very first companies to move to public cloud platforms or software typically used a partner – they were going where few had been before, and they relied on the expertise of external providers to help them make the move. But the past five or so years have seen many businesses eschew partners in the move to the public cloud – as they looked to learn the skills that they require both to make the transition and for the ongoing management and automation of the cloud environment, themselves. But as the market for public cloud software and platforms moves into hypergrowth, more companies will look to partners to help them with the transition to cloud – and more importantly – the ongoing management of their cloud environments.
Cloud Ecosystems Will Accelerate the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence Solutions
Today nearly every software provider is looking at the opportunity to make their software smart – to have the software learn, predict, personalise, see, sense or converse. Some have started by building their own AI tools – but these companies are learning that these tools are more lines of code that need to be maintained, secured, evolved and improved. Smart ISVs are building their AI capabilities using the tools that already exist on the public cloud platforms. In fact, this move is seeing more ISVs move away from hosting the cloud version of their software from their own cloud platform to one of the big five or six public cloud platforms. As more ISVs make their software intelligent, more customers will be able to adopt AI solutions that are embedded in their existing software tools and platforms.
Companies Move to the Cloud for the Features and Functions, but Will Stay for the User Experience
While companies might move to the public cloud because of the features, functions, technical capabilities or in-country data centres, what keeps customers on cloud platforms is the user experience. Some of the global public cloud platforms and software providers have not created the best user experience – yes, the technologists and developers might love them, but cloud usage is quickly moving beyond the technology team. AI tools need to be used by data scientists and product managers, while automation tools will be used by Customer Experience professionals. Business analysts want to be able to create or vary processes without the intervention of the IT team or cloud management partner. User experience will be key to increasing cloud usage within existing customers.
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