As 2017 comes to a close, businesses are looking beyond the capabilities of the cloud itself, and are beginning to consider how the cloud can be used as a tool to achieve goals, and work through processes faster.

Cloud technology has opened the door for a range of technologies, including the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. It has also resulted in the demand for service solutions, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaP).

With the upsurge of businesses making use of the cloud, other areas of technology have been forced to develop in parallel. Next year will see the emergence of 5G, as well as the need to establish a greater storage capacity.

Below is a list of the four biggest trends to hit cloud technology in 2018:

  1. Increasing demand for cloud service solutions

Research by Cisco has shown that that SaaS is expected to account for 60% of all cloud-based workloads by next year, and is set to be the most deployed cloud service worldwide.

The demand in PaaS and IaaS is also predicted to grow in 2018 as more and more businesses incorporate these services into their operations.

  1. Internet of Things to come into foreground

The last few years saw the emergence of what is now known as ‘the internet of things’, where smart objects such as home appliances, cars, electronics, speakers and even lighting are interconnected.

2018 is likely to be the year where the Internet of Things will step into the limelight. The interconnection of everyday objects will allow businesses to collect data and gain insight into how products or services may be improved.

Since humans interact with these objects on a daily basis, data can be collected on how people use and interact with the product or service.

  1. Emergence of 5G

With an increased demand for cloud technology comes a greater need for faster internet connectivity. The development of the 5G network will facilitate quicker loading rates and improved responsiveness on applications and/or services. This is essential for the future as more and more businesses integrate their processes with the cloud.

  1. Greater Storage Capacity

The demand for cloud technology has increased the demand for storage capacity, which is predicted to reach 1.1ZB in 2018. As data centres increase their storage space for clients, businesses will capitalise on this space and store big data which can later be used to study customer behaviour and financial investments.

As companies are now beginning to use cloud services less as an outright service and more so as a tool, it is important businesses use the cloud to its fullest potential. Whether the cloud is used to facilitate service solutions, or simply as a means to enable new and innovative technology, one thing is for sure – cloud technology will define the way we do business.