Expert opinion

How Do Russian Experts See the Future of Clouds?

4 minutes

A public cloud market originated in Russia about 10 years ago, just being shaped back in 2009-2010, IDC analysts say. With dozens of new projects each year, the Russian cloud market has eventually evolved into one of the most rapidly developing IT segments, following the Western trends, albeit with some lag.

Maxim Berezin, Business Development Director, CROC Cloud Services, talks about principal changes in service provision over the first decade, as well as the events and trends that will impact the cloud market in the

Abstraction increase as the key trend

Abstraction here means no more need to think about underlying infrastructure, hardware or software. First, a new virtualization technology allowed us to be less focused on physical servers and storage systems. Then, the adoption of self-service mechanisms (we are in fact talking about IaaS here) increased the level of abstraction even more. Infrastructure management became much simpler. You didn’t need to install servers but could deploy them, quickly and in a couple of clicks. Even higher-level service and thus higher abstraction are demonstrated by Platform as a Service (PaaS) where pre-configured infrastructure elements, like ready-to-use «building blocks», are offered as a service to run specific apps and quickly deploy required IT landscapes.

The cloud service of the future will use the highest possible abstraction as it is just a box, which even does not need installation. All you need is write a code, «feed» it to a service, and define a triggering event. No more worries about how many resources to assign, where to run the code, and how to ensure fault-tolerance — a cloud will do all this for you. You only pay for the number of requests to a function and their total execution time.

All companies in the market are IT companies to some extent

Another already visible trend is about various market segments increasingly embracing IT, which is now like a cornerstone of business viability. As digital transformation processes evolve (even in conservative sectors), dependency on IT will grow. Surely, many banks and telecom carriers will become IT service providers holding banking and other relevant licenses and having many tech-savvy employees, such as client service developers.

However, conventional IT companies and cloud service providers will neither leave the market, nor lose ground, but ride the wave instead. The truth is that you cannot develop necessary IT competences in a single day. The market is hungry for professionals, most of whom operate in the IT industry, and this situation will hardly change in the future. Maxim Berezin believes that trends will be the same: a key role in the adoption of new solutions will belong to IT companies and cloud service providers. As earlier, small and medium customers with «standard» needs will approach mass service providers offering typical services, while enterprise customers will stay with providers offering complex customized services.

The future lies with managed service providers

Cloud service providers, integrators, and IT companies in general will play even greater role as, achieving maximum abstraction is not a short-term task. Even the most advanced and technically savvy customers have many legacy systems and, in order to go cloud, should either rebuild their architecture from scratch, or abolish them — something not all customers are willing to do.

IT companies should analyze customer infrastructure and check migration feasibility. It may occur that a part of business systems will be left locally with a customer and maintained by a provider, while another part will be redesigned, optimized, and finally transferred to a cloud. In short, cloud service providers, thanks to their expertise, will assess customer’s infrastructure, act as a consultant, and perform many administration, updating, and process reorganization tasks as managed services. Thus, IT companies will no longer solve local (point) issues but assess the entire landscape from the bird’s eye view and tell where the problems are and how to cure them.

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