The eagle-eyed amongst you will have seen – and regular readers of the Viastak blog will remember – that last month, we published a piece called Cloud Computing in 2015 – why has this year been the Year of the Cloud?  It is a no less relevant article today, you can read it here; but consider this a sequel, if you will.  Once again the press are christening this current year as “the year of the cloud”, and today we look at how the industry is expected to advance in 2016 – including the impact and presence it will likely have in the world of commerce.

Think of a tissue.  There was a time when a tissue was just a tissue; but tissues are now closely linked with particular brands, to the point that we often euphemistically refer to them as “Kleenex” or similar.  We are seeing the cloud industry develop in a similar way, though not quite to the same extent just yet.  The cloud was just “the cloud” a few years ago: an abstract concept, a nameless entity.  Now, market leaders such as Amazon or Microsoft are inextricably linked with it; the branding goes hand in hand with the product.  This is a sign that the industry is establishing a clearer, more defined identity, which in turn is symbolic of a greater depth of understanding about cloud that is spreading through the business world.  Viastak sales director Campbell Burns spoke in 2015 about the public’s growing comfort with cloud as a platform, and how consumer practices bleed through into our working lives; Campbell says that the next step, now being taken, is “getting to a place where businesspeople understand cloud’s commercial presence as a matter of fact.”  The development of cloud branding is testament to how this is occurring; it may be only semantics, but it represents a simply vast shift in collective corporate consciousness as to how we think, and talk, about cloud.

To quantify the predicted advances in the industry, let us take a look at some of the most significant statistics.  8% of the world’s cumulative $1.6 trillion IT budget was invested in cloud computing in 2015.  Not a huge proportion on the face of it, though $128 billion is hardly to be sneezed at.  However, looking towards the coming year, the prospects are wholly more exciting.  According to Forbes, 25% of IT budgets will be allocated to cloud computing in 2016, and on average, 56% of a company’s IT environment will be in the cloud by the end of the year (notably up from 44% in 2015).  Moreover – and this is a real clincher – it is estimated that 60% of global IT spending growth in 2016 will come from the cloud, and is subsequently expected to increase to 100% in 2018.  Yes, 100%.  Pause and let that sink in for a moment!

However, statistics are all well and good; they provide solidity and certainty.  But no entrepreneur or business ever scaled up without a degree of risk-taking.  The steps into the unknown are what makes cloud a truly exciting phenomenon; users may experiment with new applications, pull data from new places, and generally do things they had never been able to do before.  That has always been the appeal of the cloud; its flexibility in terms of the functions it can offer and adapt to, in addition to the business agility and scalability it has always provided by its very nature.  What does this mean in 2016?  It means that this year’s cutting-edge technological innovation – with the “Internet of Things” right at the forefront – can be placed right at our clients’ fingertips as soon as they convert to a cloud desktop.

At Viastak, we believe that 2016 is set to be a very exciting year.  Our growth over the last four years has led to official recognition from Deloitte, and our success thus far has enabled increased investment in our sales and marketing departments; we are on the verge of creating something very special.  We also believe that 2016 will be a very exciting time for the industry as a whole, as cloud adoption increases and new innovation drives the sector beyond its current boundaries.  Evolution is at the heart of what makes cloud so effective; it is constantly changing, ever-improving, always producing new applications and functions to streamline your business practices and maintain competitive status in your particular market for the long term.  When you invest in cloud, you invest in the future.