News/Trends, Tech/Engineering

Predictions for 2020 – All Roads Lead to Cloud


The theme for IT in 2020 is “evolve and grow with cloud”. As 2019 closes, IT professionals are struggling to stay optimistic in the face of increasing pressure: regulators demand better security, technological progress never ceases, and businesses expect more agility. The result: we’ve crossed a tipping point in IT infrastructure where even the best run data centers can’t do it all.

This is an incredible moment because IT teams possess a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine their roles. The limitations of legacy architectures have paved the road to moving IT infrastructure to the cloud. Meanwhile, cloud can offload the grunt work of installation and maintenance, so IT can develop creative technology solutions for the business.

2020 will be the year infrastructure IT uses cloud to evolve their jobs from “do the same thing cheaper and faster” to “drive business value with innovation”. IT will use cloud solutions to:

  • Defend against cyberthreats
  • Comply with privacy regulations
  • Support new dynamic application architectures
  • Enable the business to analyze big and small data.

Fighting cyber threats with backup to the cloud

Ransomware and cyber attacks will expand in 2020 because they pay dividends for bad actors. We expect to see targeted organizational attacks increase across industries and governments, even as broad consumer attacks diminish. Hackers are ruthlessly identifying and exploiting any exposure in your ecosystem – whether it is gullible users, unpatched systems, or misconfigured cloud accounts. Cyber-criminals know that you will pay to save your data, your job, and your reputation. They also know many companies now have cyber insurance to help pay the bill.

As a result of the ongoing attacks, cyber insurance companies will demand proof of protection and recovery plans. They cannot stay in business paying out claims to companies that aren’t doing what it takes to protect themselves. To get insured, organizations will need to document a holistic plan to deal with cyber threats – both preventing and recovering from attacks.

SaaS backup will be a prevalent method for recovering from cyber-attacks since it stores data in a separately managed cloud account. The air gap from data center to cloud protects the data from ransomware, and separation of control secures the data from deletion by malicious internal actors. In the event of an attack, the company can restore the data anywhere – including running permanently in the cloud.

Read more about cyber insurance and data protection in the Druva 2020 Top 10 predictions for data protection ebook

Meeting compliance regulations with backup to the cloud

In 2020, privacy regulations will continue to spread and government regulators will demand more from organizations that gather, store, or access data – i.e. everyone. GDPR and CCPA are just the beginning and other states and countries will follow with similar privacy requirements. To comply with these regulations, organizations will need to constantly verify that they are securing and deleting user information. The bigger challenge will be staying current with the ever-changing regulations across the globe. Organizations will need both expanded legal support and connection between their legal and IT teams.

Once again, the answer to these needs will be cloud. Cloud-based search of backup data can cost-effectively meet privacy regulations because it can scale up and down its resource usage. More importantly, SaaS solutions can leverage centralized legal expertise to help thousands of customers that cannot afford to support themselves independently.

Read more about needs for data protection and data hygiene in  the Druva 2020 Top 10 predictions for data protection ebook

Supporting new application architectures with cloud

Next year, the evolution of technology will drive a shift from applications that run on “dedicated infrastructure” to containerized and serverless applications.

Storage trends will leave traditional storage arrays without a role. Persistent memory will become mainstream and deliver 50X faster application I/O performance with enough storage capacity to store even the largest working sets. Meanwhile, object storage prices will continue to plummet, making it the long-term storage of choice for application data. Traditional storage, optimized neither for performance nor capacity, will have no place in well-designed applications.

Compute trends will leave traditional VM based applications in the past. As demand for compute increases  (e.g. for AI and ML), VMs are not efficient enough. Applications need to dynamically provision the right amount of compute, just when they need it. Then they can release the resources to other applications. In the past, this was nearly impossible to orchestrate. However, as Kubernetes and serverless infrastructure matures, developers can finally leverage compute on-demand at a large scale.

In 2020, developers will create containerized and serverless applications which start on-demand, load data from object storage into persistent memory, execute when invoked, then release all resources when complete. Cloud’s centralized, dynamic application model eliminates the inefficiency of legacy server and storage systems.

Read more about the cloud-as-mainframe model in the Druva 2020 Top 10 predictions for data protection ebook

Making a business impact by putting data in the cloud

Even as we begin the new year, businesses will still be racing toward digital transformation, and developers will want to use cutting edge tools as part of their new applications that build on advances in AI / ML and the spread of IoT.

Small data sprawl is this coming year’s signature challenge because IoT isn’t just for self-driving cars and smart meters. IoT will be ubiquitous across all industries, which means your data will be everywhere. The business will want to enrich, process, and analyze that dispersed data by combining it with centralized historical data for better business insights. How will you protect and secure the data in all those locations? How will you consolidate, enrich, and manage it for future analytics?

Small data sprawl extends one of 2019’s unfulfilled challenge – big data AI and ML. Businesses expected sentiment analysis, optimization, and personalization to improve customer outcomes. Unfortunately, most companies fell short of their AI and ML goals. Most couldn’t bring together enough compute and data to create a viable data lake. The rest lacked the AI expertise necessary to extract value from the lake.

In 2020, cloud will supply the solution for big and small data analytics. When it comes to analytics, it’s as simple as: Get the data, See the data, Use the data.

Get: SaaS backup for all your data (remote office, data center, SaaS apps, cloud, IoT) brings your data to the cloud.

See: Cloud is the most powerful compute and storage engine the world has ever known, so you don’t need to limit your users’ access.

Use: Cloud providers will simplify AI and ML by acquiring companies to add industry-specific templates and workflows

Read more about the democratization of AI and analytics in  the Druva 2020 Top 10 predictions for data protection ebook

Conclusion: the future of IT infrastructure is SaaS

As you prepare for next year, you have the choice to either maintain existing practices or evolve and grow with cloud.

Shifting infrastructure work to SaaS will give you the freedom to evolve. The business won’t stop while you move to the cloud, so you need to maintain existing service levels even as you shift. This is where SaaS delivers (and often improves upon) core services for everything from IT operations to messaging to data protection. The right SaaS choice provides a safe, simple first step into the cloud. It also frees up your time and energy, so you can plan and take the next steps on your cloud journey.

Each job you delegate to SaaS gives you more opportunity to add value to small and big data, set up AI/ML, support next-generation application architectures, and meet compliance and security requirements. Each success also builds up your credibility as a business and IT leader, so that the organization will support each subsequent initiative.

That leads to the most important prediction for 2020 – this is the year you evolve and grow with cloud to jumpstart the next stage of your career.