Reshaping cloud computing by 2027

Panelists predicts the shape of cloud by 2027 at Cloud Expo Asia 2017Nothing provides a better illustration than information technology when it comes to Heraclitus' famous quote "the only thing that is constant is change."

Less than 10 years ago, discussions around cloud computing centered on what the "cloud" was, what attributes it carried, and what benefits and risks it brought to user organizations.

As the cloud delivery model develops and adoption level rises, what will cloud computing be shaped like take 10 years from now?

Public cloud goes 2 ways

"The public cloud will go both ways," said Michael Mudd, managing partner of Asia Policy Partners, during a panel discussion held at the Cloud Expo Asia last month. He predicted that there will either be ubiquitous giant global companies that dominate the cloud space globally, or there will be a number of national companies that dominate their individual domestic cloud markets.

Global tech giants are likely to dominate the cloud space when the issues of data protectionism are eventually overcome through the signing of agreements or the passing of regulations, said Mudd. The cloud market may also move towards the other direction in a decade's time, however, when data protectionism increases. "Some countries are demanding that data, particularly that of their citizens, to be kept within their own countries. This will preclude the giant three to four cloud services provider from gaining dominance."

"But I tend to think that the regulatory issues around cloud computing will be overcome, as cloud has already touched everybody's life," he added.

Becoming a true utility

"In 10 years' time, the consumption of cloud computing will become so ubiquitous that there will not be a dedicated cloud event [Cloud Expo Asia] like this," said Chris Cehlliah, group vice president and chief architect, core technology and cloud, Oracle Asia Pacific (pictured, second from left).

"How many of you have recently attended an event where all telcos came together, or an event that is dedicated to water or electricity vendors," he asked.

Similarly, search engine developer Babbobox CEO Alex Chan (pictured, second from right) predicted that cloud computing consumption will be very different. "Cloud will be irrelevant -- there will just be computing and power," he said. "Today, we consume the internet mostly on mobile phones. In 10 years' time, computers will be out -- even mobile phones will be out," he said.

Chan further predicted within a decade's time, virtual reality will be in, but it will only be "transitional," while Google Glass will be "a little bit more advanced," but the question lies in how to empower it.

Natural interaction with apps

Ben Woo, principal analyst at Neuralytix said that the present apps largely come in two types: transactional and analytical. The next generation app, as he predicted, will merge the two primary functions into one.

In terms of interaction, Mudd noted the current interaction with apps are largely mechanical, which require the users to swipe the screens or click on buttons. "In 10 years' time, the way that we interact with apps will be as natural as we look, speak, and listen to one another."

Such a trend is already evidenced by in smarter technologies like the Amazon Echo or the Apple Siri. "There will be a lot challenges concerning personal data privacy and information security, however," he said, "but interaction with next-generational apps will definitely be more natural and less technical."

Rise of new tech leadership

The scenario of the major players will change significantly in 10 years' time, said Mudd.

"Ten years ago, among the top 10 banks worldwide, there was not one from China. Today, four out of 10 are from China."

Mudd predicted that a similar trend will occur in the technology leadership space. "Today, the tech leaders all come from one country -- and we all know which that country is. In 10 years' time, the tech leaders will joined by one or two from another country [China]."

"The big US ones will still be there, but they will be joined by the ones from China and a possible tie up with the ones from the EU," he concluded.