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You want innovation? You’ll have to go to the cloud

Are we at the tipping point with cloud computing? As more technology comes out on public clouds, cloud technology seems to be pushing the limits of innovation. It’s still an emerging approach, yet the degree of innovation in the public cloud seems to have surpassed the innovation of technologies that remain on premises.

A case in point is the abundance of machine learning technology that’s now based in the public cloud. But the trend does not stop there. Intelligent databases, internet of things, advanced identity-based security, and containers and container operations are more examples of where the innovation is in the cloud.

Of course, traditional on-premises providers have footholds in the public cloud as well. Most enterprise databases, middleware, applications, operations, and management systems have both on-premises and cloud-based versions. But I don’t consider these traditional providers part of the tipping point.

Traditional on-premises providers are innovating largely for on-premises platforms and using platform analogs to run in the cloud as hosted software. It’s an afterthought more than a strategy; they are not yet cloud-native. What continues to emerge in the public cloud is new technology that never had an on-premises version–nor ever will.

Just a few years ago, the new technologies that arose in the cloud were interesting, but the cloud offerings didn’t provide feature parity with on-premises systems–a critical requirement for enterprise customers. But today, new cloud-based technologies lead their market, such as the machine learning offerings from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, serverless development, and advanced security services. In the past, enterprises looked to the cloud only to support systems that were moving from their premises.

They wanted what they already had, just deployed in the cloud. These days, the best tools and technology for both cloud and on-premises systems are cloud-delivered. The new essential technology is in the cloud, not so much on-premsies.

The market has been tipped.

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