Last year was yet another year of phenomenal growth for the cloud. With the average investment up 36 percent from 2016 across all industries, cloud has become an essential business model enabler for the modern company. However, with so much of IT infrastructure becoming reliant on the cloud, CIOs and CTOs need to make sure they have a fully fleshed out strategy to manage the challenges involved in making the switch. For example, moving to a cloud-first model can help businesses gain vital agility and digital transformation capabilities, but also staying focused on security can be tricky during a period of such drastic change. With this in mind, here are five aspects technologists and executives need to be aware of this year:
Being cloud native won’t be optional any more
In this software-driven economy, going cloud native will no longer be optional for many businesses. Being cloud native allows companies to get new products and services to market faster, provides greater agility, and enables scalable on-demand computing capacity. In the last year alone the amount of cloud native technology in use has increased by a staggering 200 percent.
In 2019, increased IT automation will eliminate numerous manual IT tasks and accelerate delivery of cloud native applications. Alongside continued innovation in the design and construct of applications, this will allow the companies which properly invest in cloud native capabilities to make significant improvements quickly and easily, such as customising apps based on choice of language to meet the needs of different regions. Those that fail to make the shift, however, could find themselves being left behind by faster competitors.
 Spotlight on security
Cloud has created a host of benefits for CIOs and CTOs but one aspect that needs a great deal more attention is ensuring that information on the cloud is secure. Last year saw

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