The average technology-using professional has more than 200 applications, with almost 90% of users operating in a multi-cloud environment, according to an F5 survey of almost 3,500 professionals. With so many applications and an average of 2.1 clouds per user, this means consistent security across applications and visibility into application health are growing concerns for companies and users, according to the report. Application services, which was a $10.7 billion market last year, are set to expand to a $27.8 billion market by 2022, according to a Research and Markets report.
Organizations use application services to meet security, availability and identity/access needs of applications, and as the application landscape changes so too are the services, according to the report. Gateway services make up four of the top five application services planned for 2018: API gateway, SDN gateway, IoT gateway, HTTP/2 gateway and DNSSEC. The top services already in use are network firewall, anti-virus, SSL VPN, load balancing and SPAM mitigation.
More organizations are turning away from virtual machines and toward containers to deploy application services. With almost 60% of respondents using anywhere from two to six different IaaS platforms, containers facilitate deployment and standardization across cloud environments, according to the report. About 16% of respondents use "open-source darling" Kubernetes, but proprietary systems Docker Swarm and Red Hat OpenShift are still more popular at 27% and 21%, respectively.
Renewed internal focus is a natural next step for companies that have dedicated the last few years to initiating or carrying out digital transformation.
The app economy is set to reach $6.3 trillion by 2021 — a significant increase from its $1.3 billion cap just two years ago. But this market is still markedly smaller than application services, which will be driven by large enterprises and focused around security services in the coming years, according to Research and Markets.
Security challenges — such as increasingly sophisticated attacks, a lack of security skills and employees underestimating how important it is to follow security protocols — have remained largely unchanged year-over-year, according to the F5 report. But confidence in the security of expanding multi-cloud environments is waning.
More endpoints, internally and externally, mean more vulnerabilities for IT security teams to worry about, so standardization and interoperability across platforms will remain among key focuses for app services in 2018.