Cloud computing in 2020: predictions about security, AI, Kubernetes, more

Discover what Jack Wallen predicts for the cloud and cloud-adjacent technology in 2020 and why he encourages you to dream big.

Image: Getty Images / iStockphoto

The cloud is a technology that shattered the ceiling long ago and continues to rise. Ten years ago we never dreamed that consumers and companies would claim such a deep dependence on the cloud. But here we are, so let’s dream big for the cloud in 2020.

SEE: Cheatsheet: the most important cloud developments of the decade (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

1. Hybrid cloud will increase in popularity

In the coming year, more companies of all sizes will focus on hybrid cloud. Many will be the use of a private cloud that can transfer to a public cloud – as demand dictates – the ideal way to use the cloud.

I think a type of hybrid cloud will yield serious profits, the on-site cloud solution (such as Nextcloud) that will move to third-party solutions (such as AWS and Google Cloud Platform). When companies realize the cost savings with this model, this becomes the most used option.

2. Nextcloud will flourish and innovate

Nextcloud has slowly grown in popularity over the years and is already the most used cloud solution on location. I predict that 2020 will be a very good year for this open source solution. A number of US companies will use this solution as part of their hybrid approach; this will serve as a domino for other large companies that follow. These companies will help stimulate innovation with the Nextcloud solution, which means that the cloud software finally has functions such as a built-in backup and an integrated office suite solution instead of just being able to connect to a third-party option.

SEE: Technical predictions for 2020: more attention you need to read (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

3. Google and AI

Google is one of the greatest innovators in artificial intelligence (AI), and much of this innovation is focused on the Android platform. I believe that in 2020, Google will focus more of that AI-centric development on tools such as Google Drive. How will this play out? My guess is that Google will develop an AI system that makes the organization of files and folders superior to anything that can reach mortal minds.

We could also see an improvement with Google Docs spelling and grammar checking and predictive formatting in documents. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google tested a possible AI option that would make comments and use track changes as you write. Google could also add an AI-powered chatbot to serve as a collaboration system in the G Suite – think of the Explore function, only this would be useful.

Like I said, dream big.

SEE: Google Cloud Platform: a guide for insiders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

4. The implementation and management of Kubernetes will be simplified

I made this prediction about Kubernetes in my data center predictions for the article in 2020, but it must be repeated.

I am pretty sure that someone will develop a tool that makes the implementation and management of Kubernetes clusters so easy that anyone can handle the task. I’m not talking about AWS or Google Cloud Platform, but about an external client that makes it easy for companies to implement such things in their own data center.

Yes, AWS and Google Cloud Platform already have incredible tools that make it possible to implement Kubernetes clusters, but you usually go back to writing YAML files for the reliable deployment of your containers. That will change in 2020 with an open source tool that will simplify the implementation of point-and-click containers and will be a game changer. Mark my words.

SEE: What is Kubernetes? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

5. Images find a safe haven against vulnerabilities

Speaking of Kubernetes, I believe we are finally going to see a tool – such as Harbor – that will not only scan container images for vulnerabilities, but will repair them if possible. Think about it: you have a Harbor / Clair instance that can scan your images for vulnerabilities, report all errors found, and then Harbor can automatically update the images to fix the vulnerabilities.

This can be possible with software such as Ansible. Yes, it requires development efforts, but imagine the extra security with such a tool. It could and should happen.

6. An enormous cloud breach will lead to new security approaches

I don’t want to make this prediction, but the writing is on the wall. In 2020 there will be a cloud infringement, making all other infringements look elemental in implementation and miniscule in outcome. This breach puts billions of user data at risk and forces companies with inventory in the cloud to make an inventory of their security offering. We will see a shift in focus at these companies, which will result in how they approach security.

Companies such as Google can use a strict password policy to force users to create stronger passwords. There may be an improvement in two-factor authentication or an increase in the popularity of three-factor authentication (also known as multi-factor authentication), which requires software and hardware keys.

SEE: Secure your data with two-factor authentication (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

7. The cloud runs entirely on open source software

This is an easy win for predictions. Open source will continue to dominate the cloud; however, I am going one step further to say that the cloud will be fully managed by open source software by the end of 2020. Although there may be fragments of closed source software in cloud technology at the beginning of the year, it will not be at the end of the year. To grow any software solution in the cloud, it must be open. Period of time.

There you have it: a few “gimmee” predictions and some of which I dare to dream big. With technology such as the cloud, it’s hard to make predictions without falling on your face from time to time. I might not be good – or will I do that?

Dream big, my friends. Dream as big as you can in 2020.

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