Can you believe it’s almost the end of the year? And not just the end of a year, but the end of the decade. The year 2020 is a few short weeks away. Cue the “hindsight 2020” jokes.
As we wrap up 2019, I’ve been reflecting on how the year went, as well as what I expect to see in 2020.
As I look back on all of my conversations this past year with executives and leaders spanning technology providers, hyperscale cloud providers, enterprises, and open source software — I see change happening across all industries at a level that is hard to fully understand at a single glance. Enterprises are moving further along their digital transformation journey, open source cloud native technologies are becoming more mature, and incumbent technology companies are expanding their portfolio to accommodate this cloud native shift, primarily through acquisition.
In my opinion, 2019 was an enormous shift in the way organizations think about and use technology.
My belief is that in 2020 there will be a renewed focus on the developer. For enterprise organizations this will mean using more tools that enable developers to be even more productive — getting more code into production, faster. For technology providers, both incumbent players as well emerging startups, you will see more tools focused on the developer experience, as well as consolidation with existing technologies — all with a focus on simplifying application development and deployment.
Faced with a progressively more complex, multi-cloud environment, developers will increasingly turn to technologies that abstract away the complexity and provide consistency across platforms.
Here are the five trends that I am looking at for 2020.
1. Open source is the future of business: The infrastructure that underlies the cloud is now largely based on open source software technologies. These are technologies that are currently being innovated upon, and there is still more room to grow. In 2020, open source software will continue to be the foundation on which all forward-looking cloud-based infrastructure and applications are built. This conversation will approach fever pitch in 2020.
2. Data will get a second look: We don’t spend enough time talking about data when we talk about cloud native architectures. Questions like, where will my data be stored? How am I going to use my data? Where will my applications sit that need to access my data? What are my AI/ML strategies and expectations for data? The list goes on. In 2020, my bet is that we spend more time talking about data and databases in the larger context of cloud native solutions, and we will see a few database solutions emerge that support cloud native applications across hybrid cloud solutions.
3. A move towards simplification: Cloud Foundry Foundation’s most recent round of global research shows that PaaS usage is on the rise again (from 41% in February to 47% in July) and the percentage of teams evaluating serverless technology has risen six points from February to 42% in July. Ultimately, developers want to be able to easily write and deploy applications. This requires higher levels of abstraction that provide greater control over the tools.
4. Consolidation marches on: I predicted that 2019 would be the year of consolidation among major enterprise tech companies anxious to gain access to the latest innovations. Indeed, major mergers and acquisitions took place this year, and the market continues to consolidate around specific technologies. In 2020, those technologies are Kubernetes and, more broadly, cloud. While many organizations will continue to employ a multi-cloud strategy, they are also consolidating around their cloud footprint. The leaders will emerge in 2020.
5. Tech is getting a reality check: Technology is no longer an exclusive industry — it underlies everything. Next year, I believe there will be more rules and regulations keeping it in check. We are finally beginning to understand the broad impact that consumer (and enterprise) tech has on every citizen in the world, and 2020 will see some major legislation drafted, if not passed, to regulate the reach of the tech industry.
I am personally excited for what 2020 holds, and believe we are still in the early days of the cloud. Imagine how much more room there is to grow! The industry is in the midst of rewriting much of the technology that got us here, and while this amount of change can be overwhelming, I see this as an opportunity for new and innovative ideas to rise to the top.
See you in 2020!