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While end-of-year recaps are plentiful this time of year, they can be helpful to reflect on what's important and the key lessons learned -- and that holds true for cloud administrators as well.
Here's a look back at three cloud computing trends that captured the attention of enterprise IT teams in 2019.
While edge computing was initially associated with IoT devices, the technology took on some new dimensions in 2019.
With proprietary hybrid cloud products such as AWS Outposts, Google Anthos and Azure Stack, enterprises can more easily move cloud-native workloads between private and public infrastructure.
This is a deviation from the traditional hybrid cloud model, which consists of heterogenous environments -- such as OpenStack for an on-premises private cloud and AWS or Azure for the public cloud. This move to a single-brand hybrid cloud simplifies management processes and makes migration between public and private environments much more seamless.
This approach also opens up new opportunities around edge computing working seamlessly with the public cloud: these single-vendor clouds enable enterprises to more freely place workloads as close as possible to the other IT systems and users that interact with them. This geographic flexibility can potentially boost performance, and even reduce costs. Additionally, edge computing, in this case, can appease IT leaders who are uncomfortable hosting workloads and data sets on public clouds.
Slowed cloud migration
Another top cloud computing trend in 2019 revolves around the operational complexity of the public cloud. Difficulties are born from dozens of decoupled cloud development teams using a plethora of services at the application level. Then, teams push applications and data sets to production, all using different cloud technologies and native services.
The result, as you might predict, is that the operations team can't properly manage this complex and heterogeneous cloud environment -- at least, not with existing staff and technology resources. And, without proper management, enterprises become susceptible to breaches and outages. These negative experiences have slowed cloud adoption.
Another issue that has impeded migration is the shrinking pool of enterprise workloads that are eligible for the lift-and-shift method. Many of those types of applications have already been moved, and those that remain on premises are much harder to migrate. Organizations have to refactor, or recode, most of those applications to run effectively on public clouds, which can be expensive. Apps that don't have the right architecture can lead to flaws that force enterprises to move them back on premises. This delays a migration plan and creates unexpected costs.
Cloud skills shortage
A continued skills shortage shaped other cloud computing trends in 2019, as demand for qualified cloud technical jobs outstripped the supply of qualified candidates. A LinkedIn analysis of job postings found the most in-demand skills were in the area of cloud computing. Amazon, for example, recently said it had more than 15,000 unfilled tech-oriented positions in the U.S.
All cloud skills, including those associated with cloud architect and DevOps engineer roles, are lacking. Some cloud-related positions go unfilled for more than a year, regardless of offered salary. To help close the cloud skills gap, some organizations have built internal "boot camp" training programs or they've used a third party to deliver both on-site and online training at scale.
More cloud-focused degrees from colleges and universities could also help fill the existing skills gap.