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As we hurtle into 2018 and cloud developers continue to bring innovative products and services to the market, businesses that have yet to adopt cloud technology are being quickly left behind. Following greater adoption, how can cloud transform an organisation's day-to-day operations now, and what can we expect in the future?

The year of cloud automation

By 2020, investment in machine learning-based tools for automation will triple, helping reduce business outages caused by IT failures.

As cloud computing continues to evolve, there is increasing pressure for technology to perform, while improving cost-efficiency and most of all, security. The majority of which is being achieved by using automation.

Automation is changing how we work, how career paths progress and improving business operations. In 2018, we can expect cloud automation to dominate areas such as network innovation, with Cisco Systems deploying its new intent-based networking (IBN) approach, and cybersecurity.

Cloud Automation

Cloud Data

What will we do with all the data?

As consumers and professionals, we are continuously creating more data.

Rich Rogers, IoT Product and Engineering at Hitachi Vantara said: "2018 will be the year that IoT technologies accelerate the transformation of industrial factories into software-defined factories." He also believes IoT will enable a phenomenon where "data centres begin to transform into fully autonomous operations."

In order to handle the mass data production, Forbes predicts that 50% of enterprises will adopt a cloud-first strategy for big data analytics in 2018 that will meet the need for greater control over costs and more flexibility than can be achieved in-house.

This opens up a whole host of opportunities for businesses to store large data sets and perform analytics, while harvesting valuable insights into customer behaviour and financial strategy. Our experts will explore the opportunities big data presents to organisations in 2018.

How secure is your cloud environment?

According to Netwrix's survey, sensitive data was compromised in 42% of security incidents in the cloud, 39% of which were a result of errors made by IT employees, 33% were the fault employees and 28% were caused by external threats.

The cloud environment is reaching its maturity, with the cloud computing market expected to reach $411bn by 2020 and according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), cloud adoption in the UK had already reached 88% in March 2017. However, as cloud evolves, it is becoming an increasingly attractive security target and both cloud providers and organisations must continue to work towards maintaining a secure environment.

Last year was a record-breaking year for cyber-attacks. Amongst the largest were the WannaCry ransomware attack and the WireX DDoS attack.

Our experts will cover the key areas of cloud security to enable you to work in partnership with your cloud hosting provider on your security strategy.

Cloud Security

Green Cloud

The green, green cloud

Working towards reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint needn’t be limited to your own four walls, but extends to your hosting solution. According to Pike Research, the wide-spread adoption of cloud computing could lead to a 38% reduction in worldwide data centre energy expenditures by 2020.

The majority of a data centre’s energy expenditures support data storage, which has resulted in the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) promoting new technologies and architectures in an effort to significantly reduce energy usage. Similarly, advances are being made in areas such as storage virtualisation to cut the physical storage required by a data centre and in turn, lessen its carbon footprint.

Cloud providers are also able to utilise the advantages presented by their environment such as solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sources. Our experts will discuss just what it means to be green in cloud hosting in 2018 and how it impacts your business.

It's time to get your GDPR ducks in a row

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU's legislation for the protection of personal data in Europe and the compliance deadline, 25th May 2018, is mere months away. It is vital that you understand your responsibilities and the value of your relationship with your cloud hosting provider as you work towards this looming deadline.

Just 59% of UK businesses are currently aware of the implications GDPR will have on their organisation and a tiny 6% have prioritised GDPR preparations, compared to 30% in France.

Our experts will be exploring how UK businesses can work with their cloud provider to ensure their due diligence under the GDPR pre-Brexit, and how the UK's own data protection legislation will be changing to facilitate the continued free-flow of data post-Brexit.


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