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2016: Year in Review

ChicagoIt's that time of year again, when Chicago is a gloomy icebox, and all of your favorite blogs are posting recaps of the last 12 months. Don't worry  Crumbs from the Cloud is no exception. With Google's rebranding of Google Apps to G Suite and Cloudbakers' launching of CloudSkylight (our Dynamics365 division), it's safe to say 2016 was jam-packed. But let's take a step back for a couple minutes and look at the industry as a whole.

Here's what was predicted for 2016 and how the cloud technology industry lived up.

Predictions from this time last year

First off, there were some overarching trends posited that should take us through at least 2020:

  • The growth of the hybrid cloud
  • Rise in BYOD (bring your own device)
  • Rise in cloud services brokerages, like Cloudbakers

These come as no surprise. As more and more niche industries (with increasingly specific compliance requirements) adopt the cloud, their needs are met by special blends of cloud services. And who better to orchestrate such hybrid solutions that experienced brokerages? 

The numerous predictions for 2016 were quite specific, however. The above 3 are reiterated, but additionally:

  • Enterprise adoption of the public cloud was to skyrocket
  • Cybersecurity would take center stage as a main concern
  • The demand for APIs was to increase dramatically

Again, few surprises here. With the massive investments being made in the cloud technology space, it would only be a matter of time before the enterprise dove in head first; the savings are simply too appealing. Large companies have deep pockets, however, which would draw cyberterrorists. As for APIs, industry leaders knew that the out-of-the-box cloud solutions would only last so long before organizations were hooked & ready for more. 

So, how did we do?

The beauty of grandiose (and somewhat vague) industry predictions like these is that they are extremely hard to negate. Overall, most of them hold up under the microscope in some way or another. But, it's December 28th, and we need to do our due diligence and examine them regardless. Here's the year in review from Cloudbakers perspective.

Enterprise adoption

In 2016 we landed some of our biggest clients to date, with more on the way. While we've maintained our mid market focus, we've drastically expanded our services (and team) to be able to serve larger clients. That said, with larger clients the conversation around security could not be more important.

Cybersecurity at center stage

Ransomware took off in 2016. We're glad we didn't come across it ourselves, but one need only Google the phenomenon to see how serious things got. The need for secure data, end user trainings and a shoulder to lean on in worst-case scenarios had never been higher than in 2016. 

Increasing demand for APIs

We must've said this a hundred times over the last year: The beauty of the Cloud lies in integrations. In 2016 more and more clients realized this, and developed custom applications and systems integrations specific to their exact processes. MHA Labs, SmashMyTrash, SimpleNumbers and Vibrant Credit Union all took advantage, to name a few.

Application development & integration: A trend worth expanding on

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we'd like to offer our two cents about why App Dev took off in 2016 (and why it will be central to cloud strategy in 2017).

With the speed at which technology is moving lately, each 'competitive edge' quickly becomes the norm. It may seem like Google Apps & Microsoft Office 365 just arrived, but the reality is that in very little time these public cloud platforms will obtain widespread adoption; they'll be the standard. At that point, you can consider the playing field leveled.

That's what drives our organization, and organizations like ours: Staying ahead of the curve. Doing the research, and finding the next big thing before it barely appears on most radars. We've seen huge successes creating the next big thing for our clients; developing new revenue streams, streamlining internal processes with intranets and portals, linking systems that were otherwise disjointed and centralizing business tools in a trusted platform.

Let 2017 be an opportunity to start the conversation around custom development. This time next year you'll be reading 2017 recaps knowing you capitalized on the year's trends.

Save Risk & Resources in 2017

Originally published on December 28, 2016

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