The march to the cloud is inevitable. No, I don’t think all your services will be run from a cloud service, but I do think that some of them will be. Maybe 10% for your company, maybe 90%, but likely somewhere in between. In the efforts to reduce costs, and maybe more likely, the idea of shifting costs to expenses, I would bet that most organiztions will take serious looks at the cloud in the next decade for a significant portion of all new services. They might not move most applications, but they’ll think about it.
I saw a note recently on Geekwire that Azure is estimated to exceed Amazon Web Services (AWS) by 2019. Most of us might not care about the race between these two tech giants to build large cloud infrastructures, but their capital expenditure is based on the idea that your organizations will want to use some of those services. They have good reasons to think this with surveys and conversations with many of their customers.
In the absence of changing tax policy in many nations, it also makes more sense to make move costs to expense, rather than capital expenditures. And that’s the way things are going, at least according to what CIOs are saying. More and more applications and services will be moving to the cloud in the next few years. Up to 30% from the current 14% of applications today. As I’ve seen more and more entreprises, public and private, moving mail and web services to outsourcing providers like O365, I also think we’ll see other applications moving.
I don’t think every application is suited to an outsourced area, but I do think there’s a case to be made for many of them, including databases. For those with privacy or security issues, cloud providers are working to mitigate the issues. Amazon has built separate data centers for government services, and I believe Azure is (or has) done so as well. The challenges that exist can be solved, and many of the risks or concerns will be mitigated, though you’ll still need to evaluate your situation on a case by case basis, which will change over time.
My recommendation: learn about the cloud. Really learn, don’t just assume you know. It will be good for your career.