Compare the Cloud has been inundated with predictions for 2016, today we’re going to focus on the two Top 5 lists of predictions from Glenn Bladon, of IT Services firm ECS, and Rajiv Gupta, of Skyhigh Networks.

[easy-tweet tweet=”2016 predictions from #cloud experts Glenn Bladon and Rajiv Gupta” user=”comparethecloud” usehashtags=”no”]

Let’s begin with Glenn Bladon’s 5 predictions. Glenn is Director, IT Consulting, at ECS; with over 25 years experience and a thorough understanding of the IT industry he brings an executive view to his predictions.

1. Discourage Cloud Sprawl

Hearing how easy it is to launch new cloud services, in 2016, we expect line of business managers will demand new services from their CIOs and IT teams without realising how difficult it is to deliver within the desired timeframe.  CIOs will need to fully embrace the cloud for certain applications – and take responsibility for planning, management and integration – to avoid the prospect of being bypassed by managers deciding to develop their own new services directly using SaaS, PaaS or IaaS.

2. Which Development Model?

2016 will see CIOs develop clearer strategies for further cloud adoption. It will be interesting to see which development models they adopt: Agile, DevOps, Bi-Modal IT, ‘All in’, or Hybrid IT. My view is that hybrid cloud environments will dominate.

3. IaaS adoption will explode

Amazon Web Services’ and Microsoft’s plans to open data centres in the UK for the first time will result in a mass move to AWS and Azure by UK businesses: the price points, features and speed at which businesses can turn on this infrastructure make it a no-brainer. Because these two companies own 95% of the public cloud market globally, it is unlikely that private clouds will be able to keep pace.

4. Security fears over Public IaaS will diminish

Public IaaS offerings will turn a corner in 2016 and start to be seen as more secure than on-premise or outsourced data centres. The decision by Amazon, Microsoft and others to open or expand data centres in the UK also reduces some of the problems associated with data sovereignty/data residency rules – although organisations will still need to ensure they are complying with the appropriate national and international data protection requirements

5. More Sophisticated Cloud ROI

Calculating cloud ROI in ways other than capex/storage cost reductions can be difficult, but in 2016 we’ll see some organisations starting to measure Cloud ROI by looking at business outcomes. For example, measuring the ROI of a new, customer-facing cloud-based service by looking at the innovation costs in relation to improved/new customer relationships.

And our secondary set of 5 predictions come from Skyhigh Networks co-founder and CEO, Rajiv Gupta. Rajiv has more than 20 years of enterprise software and security experience and is considered a leading web services expert.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Massive #cyberattack costs in 2015 mean rises in cyber Insurance in 2016 says Rajiv Gupta” via=”no” usehashtags=”no”]

1. Cyber security insurance prices will double.

Insurance companies absorbed massive cyber-attack costs in 2015. In response, rates and premiums are on the rise. Companies will balk at prices and may need to agree to unfavourable terms in order to afford coverage: Anthem had to commit $25 million towards any future costs to secure $100 million in coverage. Many insurers max out coverage at $75 or $100 million – well below the cost of a catastrophic breach, which can reach a quarter of a billion dollars.

2. European regulators will resurrect Safe Harbor.

Global companies paid attention when the European Court of Justice struck down the data transfer agreement known as Safe Harbor, which allowed companies to store Europeans’ data with US cloud providers. The ECJ’s decision certainly raised valid issues: Companies should be wary of sensitive data unencrypted in cloud services, especially those located in countries with dubious privacy records. Not all data is sensitive, however, and Safe Harbor’s absence will impose unnecessary and unrealistic limitations on operations in the cloud. Regulators will compromise to facilitate global access to data.

3. The majority of cloud security incidents will come from insiders.

Cloud service providers have improved security to the extent that breaches on the provider side will become few and far between. This leaves enterprise employees as the weak link. 90 percent of companies experience at least one cloud insider threat per month. Whether malicious or unintentional, your own employees will be your greatest cloud security threat.

4. Companies will start to payoff cloud security debt.

More and more companies are full-speed ahead on cloud, but so far security has lagged behind. There’s a gap between where cloud security budgets currently are and where they should be based on overall security spending. According to Gartner, companies allocate just 3.8 percent of cloud spending to security, compared to 11 percent from overall IT budgets. In 2016, budgets for cloud security will outpace overall IT security spending as companies play catch-up.

5. OneDrive will become the most popular cloud file sharing app.

Currently in fourth place for data volume uploaded, OneDrive will surge in the rankings as companies move to the cloud with Office 365. Companies have already shown confidence in Microsoft’s cloud platform as a system of record for sensitive information, uploading 1.37 TB per month with 17.4 percent of files containing sensitive data. There is still a huge growth opportunity, however: 87.3 percent of organisations have at least 100 employees using Office 365, but 93.2 percent of employees still use Microsoft on-premises solutions. Microsoft has invested over one billion dollars in security, and recently released a new Office 365 API for partners to monitor and secure sensitive content. Satya is taking cloud security seriously, and companies who were previously hesitant will migrate to Microsoft’s cloud offerings.