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The Future of Cloud

The Future of Cloud

Blog Article Published: 03/24/2023

Originally published by ManTech.

Written by Sandeep Shilawat, Vice President, Cloud and Edge Computing, ManTech.

Stock analysts and meteorologists are in the business of making predictions. IT professionals… not so much. But when we think about the cloud and the vast changes it has facilitated across every industry and on nearly every business or government it’s hard not to imagine what’s next.

We are still very early in our journey. Despite all that cloud has enabled, we still want more! And we are right to be looking forward. The pace of cloud innovation is limited only by our capacity to harness it. I think of it like a car: cloud is the engine, data is the fuel, AI is the logic we now have to drive it, and technologies like BlockChain, 5G or Edge Computing are the next destination.

What else awaits us on the next stop in our cloud journey? My near-term predictions are:

  • Proliferation of Multi-Cloud Environments – The only time you think about your electricity provider is when you get your bill. The same will be true with the cloud. Multi-cloud environments will become the norm, rather than the exception.
  • Cloud Consortiums Among Providers – These will be akin to utility company regulators and will be designed to manage cloud traffic. There’s no avoiding it, and it’s a necessary governor on an otherwise open space.
  • More Explosive Growth – We’ve not seen anything yet in terms of cloud growth. It will constantly accelerate and do so exponentially. I believe the last two decades conditioned us to expect and accept rapid advances in technology – all of which will be cloud enabled or driven in some way.
  • More IT Expenses Will Be Cloud-Driven – Most of the IT expenses will shift from on-prem infrastructure to cloud related. As an example, Microsoft has announced its forthcoming cloud PCs. The cloud economy is at its infancy in the context of its future.
  • Cloud Everywhere – We are building a fully connected world – when or how you’re connected will be irrelevant. In this world there is a significant role for Edge computing, and processing will move to the data source, which in most cases will be edge. There is also a significant role for the Internet of Things and an explosion of smart, connected devices in domains we’ve not even contemplated.
  • AI Singularity – Moore’s law, which posits that compute speed, doubles every two years. Based on that premise, its proponents once predicted that the next phase – AI singularity where machines become self-realized and act on their own – wouldn’t happen until much later. However, innovation in chips and quantum computing have put us on track to far outpace that. Today 5G technology allows you to connect in terabytes per second in a secure fashion and 6G is coming behind it. Ultimately these high-speed, high-demand capabilities will drive cloud use to the farthest regions of the world.

To be sure, all of this will come with challenges, with security as one of the largest and most critical. Of course, there are other challenges we can anticipate, and some that we cannot. This is why it’s important for the government to examine cloud ecosystems that are becoming amorphous and undergoing disruption at this very moment. Government has got to keep up and – with every procurement – prepare for the new cloud world. We must out-innovate, out-spend, and out-muscle our adversaries, who are right now preparing themselves for the next wave of cloud disruption.

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