A few years ago, cloud computing was seen as a risky solution to be used for non-critical services only. Today, it has changed the game, supporting complex and mission-critical functions, and organisations across the board are looking to harness cloud solutions to survive.

Cloud technologies have empowered businesses with new and advanced features, giving them the ability to do much more than they did in the past, and to do it with less. They have fundamentally changed the business mentality from ‘owning' to ‘sharing'.

However, there is still the perception that cloud computing is less secure, will threaten jobs, or is too costly to make the change.

"This isn't the case. It is crucial that CIOs view cloud technologies as a key to remaining competitive, and not just another cost centre," says Kirsten Doyle, producer of ITWeb Cloud Summit 2019.

"We intend to provide a glimpse into the future of cloud at ITWeb Cloud Summit 2019. What differentiates this event is that we are looking at topics that go beyond the usual ‘tools and solutions'. We have themed next year's event: ‘The next (r)evolution of cloud computing', as we see several far-reaching trends emerging, which will change the way businesses operate forever."

She says over and above the wide adoption of cloud services, there is a plethora of technology and delivery models. "Today, we are spoiled for choice. We have private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, and of course, multi-cloud, giving businesses the opportunity to leverage all the benefits of cloud, without putting all their eggs in one basket. We have also seen a rise in hyperscale solutions that are achieving massive scale in computing and are set to dominate the local cloud sector.

"In addition, we will examine the democratisation of technology through cloud-enabled services. Tools such as AI and analytics, due to cost and complexity, have traditionally only been in the hands of larger enterprises, but today, the cloud can provision these services and give smaller entities the processing ability, scalability and mobility of the cloud. There's no doubt this will level the playing field, and transform the way businesses work.

"We are scratching the surface here. ITWeb Cloud Summit 2019 will look into the growth of ‘as-a-service' as well as big data and IOT. We will examine edge computing in relation to cloud, how cloud and digital transformation go hand-in-hand, and we will look at how POPI and GDPR are driving new tools for security and compliance in the cloud."

ITWeb's Cloud Summit has become SA's top annual cloud event, providing a platform for business decision-makers, cloud experts, researchers and industry practitioners to exchange ideas, discuss new advances in the strategy and practice of cloud computing. ITWeb Cloud Summit 2019 will be held on 12 February at The Forum, in Bryanston.