However, while many are in the midst of starting their New Year's resolutions and looking towards the year ahead, it's also a good time to look back at the previous year and take stock of what's been achieved by both vendors and customers in the cloud industry.
Probably the biggest cloud trend in 2015 was security and compliance. There’s been a growing realisation that no cloud computing strategy is complete without a cloud security and compliance strategy. Spurred on by numerous high profile breaches, security was brought to the forefront of many business plans; the EU also expressed its concern about the levels of cyber security being implemented, and agreed new cyber security rules imposing new network security requirements on businesses providing essential services. As these viruses, hackers and industry regulations from HIPAA to Safe Harbor has started to impact IT departments more, the focus was sharply tuned into how best to apply on-premise levels of security and compliance in the cloud. iland certainly had a big year in this realm – our investments in cloud security and compliance which culminated in the release of ECS-AS in the second half of the year have created a lot of interest and excitement from customers.
Another trend in 2015 was that Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service continued to claw its way to the top of CTO priority lists. With IT budgets tight and faster adoption of cloud in general, we’ve noticed a growing comfort level and confidence in cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. iland certainly experienced growth in this area in 2015 with customers like Strata adopting DRaaS and reaping the benefits from it. As seen currently in the UK with the floods affecting the north of England, disaster recovery is not an area that should be overlooked; marketing company Pi Industries recently implemented a disaster recovery solution and has urged other businesses to do the same.
2015 also bought a keener focus on cloud costs. Many customers have experienced that cloud can actually cost more, not less, if the required levels of support and management tools are not available. Although the main drivers for cloud continue to be agility, there is still a strong desire for insight into costs and billing and the capability to be able to carefully manage cloud costs. As cloud becomes more of an integral component of the overall IT strategy, IT leaders are rightly demanding that it comes with the visibility, service and support levels they’re used to receiving from Enterprise IT.
These cloud trends from 2015 highlight the need for cloud providers to offer cost transparency and security services that thoroughly protect the customer– as well as customers being aware of the current threats to business, be that via natural disaster or a hacker at the end of a computer. So, as we get further into 2016 and IT leaders make their plans for 2016, companies would be well placed to consider these trends and look for cloud partners that can help in these key areas as their cloud journeys continue.