We closed last year shortly after our celebrations for Cobweb’s 20th anniversary. As we retraced Cobweb’s own journey we mapped the developments in cloud technology that have taken place generally over the last 20 years.
We were amazed to look back on just how technology has changed people’s lives over the past twenty years. But looking ahead to the future, and on the cusp as we are of a fourth industrial revolution, the next twenty are going to bring even more exciting and far-reaching changes.
More immediately, though, what are my major cloud predictions for 2017? Here are my ‘Seven for 2017’.
Digital transformation: I expect to see customers embrace digital transformation to an even greater degree, recognising its benefits for customer service, employee engagement and product innovation.
Cloud adoption will continue to accelerate: more than half of Microsoft’s SMB revenue already comes from the cloud and I expect that now this tipping point has been reached 2017 will see an acceleration of this transition.
Security threats – ransomware, spear phishing, etc. – will continue: therefore, and particularly as more and more IT is moved into the cloud, it will become ever more imperative for businesses to implement appropriate measures to secure and protect identity, data, apps, and devices.
Azure will gain more traction: I believe that there will ultimately be three or four “computers” in the world. AWS and Azure will be two of these, with Google, IBM, Salesforce and others fighting it out for the minor places.
IOT: the understanding of how IOT can benefit businesses is growing, in large part due to the increasing number of connected experiences that we are all being exposed to. I predict many more businesses will start to take advantage of this including the big data analytics that sit behind any IOT solution.
Voice in the cloud: we have on-premise PBX, and hosted PBX today, and 2017 will see very strong adoption of cloud-based platforms. Voice in the cloud is going to grow on a massive scale over the coming years and I believe that there will be particularly strong adoption of Skype for Business in 2017.
EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): although this is not due to come into force until 2018 (25 May 2018), its impact will start to become real for businesses in 2017 as they realise they have to start planning to meet its regulations and will begin to put measures in place.