Roe said that 2018 would see Artificial Intelligence (AI) drive a "transformational' change among organisations and impact on cloud use.
ICT isn’t getting any simpler, and businesses are being forced to move faster as their customers’ requirements become more demanding, he said. This, he said, is "driving innovation" in areas like AI, but automation of past processes won’t be enough to keep up with the “need for speed” in business agility.
"We will see lots more AI projects and initiatives in 2018; it will be the cornerstone of change in automation of ICT. Proactive, automated, non-human decisions are now a necessity. Are the robots coming? Yes, they are – but we still need to develop the Intellectual Property (IP) to drive them."
With emerging technologies like AI becoming more prominent in 2018, organisations are demanding bespoke software and solutions that solve their specific business problems. As a result, companies are increasingly working with cloud service providers to gain a competitive advantage – this includes using public cloud providers to power their IP-centric solutions. Investment in infrastructure development is diminishing, replaced by a need for specific business-driven solutions that require unique software to bring these solutions to life.
IP is the key, but many end users don’t have the time, resources or in-house skills to create a solution that gives them the business advantage they require. As such, they are forging long term business relationships with technology service providers who understand their need for change, and develop specific IP or software which utilises public cloud services, embraces AI, and most importantly which solves a business or particular customer problem.
Public cloud providers also need these strategic partner alliances to ensure there is a shorter time to value in moving workloads to the cloud and providing solutions that move beyond IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) to fully utilising PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service).
"We are starting to see the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) players now extending into PaaS in response to customer demand. Customers that are using a SaaS kingpin like CRM want to extend that platform into other use cases and requirements. It’s been a long time coming, but as the world moves to a cloud-first strategy, the complexity in integrated public clouds is driving companies to explore PaaS."
Cloud services have been a "safe bet" in the boardroom in recent years, but now the question is if they are secure. With more and more high-profile data breaches, questions are now being asked around cloud security at the board level.
The damaging nature of cyber-attacks is now clearly in the "line of sight" of board members. GDPR will also raise more questions at this level, making cybersecurity in the cloud a board level priority.