Here’s what’s exciting (me) about cloud in 2019

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Re-posting an article I wrote for the online magazine “Emerge” entitled “Here’s what’s exciting us about cloud in 2019, February 11, 2019.

Cloud computing has sure had its ups and downs along the hype cycle. While cloud continues to grow at a steady clip, outrageous predictions, such as 92% of all compute and workloads will run in the cloud by 2020, will not come to fruition; hybrid is here to stay, at least for a while. And we’ve certainly seen our share of flashes in the pan: remember Oracle’s coming out party for cloud, only to be dashed a few quarters laterthen get worse?

By Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Jeremykemp at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Here is what I am excited about in 2019 – as we climb the slope of enlightenment to the plateau of productivity:

Google Next conference – April 9: Last year, Google blew everyone away with the Duplex demo, where Google AI independently called and interacted with a hair salon to schedule an appointment. First, I was amazed. Then, I was creeped out; was it possible that I myself had spoken to an AI bot on the phone that I was not aware of and it was not disclosed to me? This year, we will see what Google has cooked up from an AI/ML perspective, and my guess is it is going to be along the spectrum of “computers doing things for people” vs. “computers helping people do things.”

IBM’s RedHat integration – 2nd half of 2019: IBM made waves in 2018 by acquiring open source pioneer RedHat, with the deal expected to close in the second half of this year. Will they be able to capitalize on the acquisition in 2019? What RedHat brings to the table in innovation, hybrid, containers, etc. is compelling, so I for one, will be watching closely. In 2017, IBM stopped their streak of 22 consecutive quarters with a decline in revenue; however, they started a new streak in 2018 with declining revenues in the last several quarters. Will RedHat be able to turn around the company, from revenue and profits to company culture?

JEDI Contract – Sometime in 2019: The Pentagon will award the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract this year. Microsoft and AWS are the front-runners. The winner will get a huge lift in revenue, market share, and, more importantly, a juicy contract that will have major downstream implications for future public sector deals. That is, if protests from IBM and Oracle do not derail the process. I am going to go out on a limb and predict my former employer Microsoft takes this one.

Re:Invent 2019 – November 2019: I would not miss the biggest conference in cloud in 2019. In 2018, we saw the rich get richer, with AWS releasing a slew of new services and even branching into on-prem with AWS Outposts. We also heard a different tone from Andy Jassey that was much more focused on the competition. Throw into the mix regulatory pressure on Amazon and calls to spin-off AWS, we could be in for some quite interesting announcements.

The next “it” service: The most talked about feature at Re:Invent in 2018 was Lambda’s serverless computing service, and last year Kubernetes was officially crowned as king of container orchestration. What will be the “winners” and the “it” services crowned in 2019? Is it finally time for AI/ML services from the big three hyperscalers to hit mainstream?

Final thoughts: I, for one, am excited and optimistic about the future of technology and cloud. While technology can be harmful and used the wrong way, it can help us cure diseaselift people out of poverty, and accomplish more. See you in the cloud.

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