Aiven Blog

Apr 15, 2021

CTO predictions – The future of open source, cloud growth and more

Our entire industry has seen exciting momentum already in Q1 of this year. Curious to know what you should keep on your radar in the months ahead?


Heikki Nousiainen

|RSS Feed

Chief Technology Officer at Aiven

Here’s a snapshot of what I have in mind:

1. Open source adoption will continue to accelerate

There’s no doubt that open source software made significant strides last year:

Doubling down on security: Microsoft, Google, IBM and other tech leaders co-founded the Open Source Security Foundation to provide visibility and resources to the security considerations for open source projects.

Fighting against COVID-19: When the pandemic started, the community reacted quickly by disseminating data under the open model and by creating dashboards and apps to track the progression of the virus. DP3T or Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing, was designed in the open to ensure the right balance between privacy and effectiveness on tracking contact technology. And building on top of this technology, Apple and Google came together in the fight against COVID-19 by providing a common API to enable creation of standard applications by health authorities around the world. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a surge of open hardware designs for ventilators and other critical equipment that was in short supply.

Combating climate change: The Linux Foundation also launched the LF Climate Finance Foundation, leveraging open source tools in an effort to combat climate change.

We’ll continue to see an accelerated rate of open source adoption in 2021. And the truth is, the benefits outweigh the difficult skill sets it takes to use these technologies. We still have a massive number of companies making the transition to the cloud, and open source will play a big role in that adoption during their digital transformations. Which leads me to my next prediction...

2. The cloud market will experience both transformation and disruption

It’s difficult to talk about the cloud without mentioning some of the industry giants who power it. And in a year like 2021, it will be nearly impossible. Forrester predicts the global public cloud infrastructure market will balloon in 2021 – seeing 35% growth and reaching $120 billion. At Aiven, we’re interested to see if this estimate turns out to even be too low, since we’ve recently seen an enormous demand for public cloud usage – much of which can be attributed to the business agility benefits associated with cloud transformation.

It’s fair to assume that AWS, Azure and GCP will dominate the market, but we’re eager to see what other challengers like IBM and OVH have to offer. While it may seem unlikely, it will be interesting to see if any of the major cloud providers follow IBM and separate their cloud service from the rest of the business.

All this talk about public cloud growth means digital transformation is right there with it. Businesses are leaning on technologies that mesh well with cloud adoption. So similarly, we’ll see the growth of digital concepts and solutions like IoT and containerization skyrocket across various industries. The growth of IoT and smart devices will continue rapidly in 2021, dependent on where sensors are able to be placed and what kind of data we can collect and turn into additional insights. With everything being more connected, it is safe to assume continuous increase in demand for analytical capabilities.

3. Made-to-measure databases will be in high demand

The onslaught of data in 2021 will reveal a vast need for made-to-measure databases. My colleagues and I agree – time series databases will be in high demand this year and will continue to be the fastest growing segment of databases going into 2021. While there is plenty of space for several successful entrants into the market, we’ll also see an increase in adoption of common standards like OpenTelemetry in this space. That said, the launch of our 9th managed service, Aiven for M3, was a prediction in and of itself – Aiven’s products reflect customer needs.

4. Industries will lean on managed services more than ever

As we've seen in the recent years, the digitalization trend continues to reshape business and markets. The winners in this transformation are the most agile and adapting organizations. Demand for managed services will remain strong, and will play a key role in enabling resources being focused on the business critical tasks and development.

Consumers increasingly expect to be able to place orders or conduct their business at any time of the day, putting pressure on maintaining service levels around the clock on every day of the year.

Having been named an IDC Innovator in 2020, Aiven is proud to be at the forefront of those who help manage greater and greater amounts of data demanded by the data driver business.

Related resources