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10 cloud computing predictions for 2014

Bernard Golden | Dec. 18, 2013
Cloud computing is increasingly becoming the rule and not the exception for application deployment. This will make 2014 an interesting and disruptive year for vendors, service providers and IT organizations grappling with this change.

3. Application Workload Placement Decisions Will Continue to Shift to End Users

Gartner made a big splash last year when it forecast that CMOs will control more than 50 percent of IT spending by 2017. One cannot know, of course, how this forecast will turn out, but the two predictions above clearly reflect a similar perspective: When it comes to applications, end-users are increasingly in the driver's seat. The question is whether those business-oriented applications will be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.

Three key facts are relevant here:

Look for many stories in 2014 about companies launching new Internet-enabled business offerings and recognize that 99 percent of them rely on the cloud for back-end processing.

4. Private Cloud Will Have Its Moment of Truth

For the past several years, IT organizations have acknowledged that cloud computing provides undoubted benefits, but security and privacy concerns necessitate that an internal cloud be implemented before "real" applications be deployed. Many of these private cloud initiatives have been extended processes, though, bogged down by budgeting, lengthy vendor assessments, employee skill building and, yes, internal politics.

While this kind of delay could be accepted as part of the growing pains of shifting to a new platform, 2014 will force companies to really assess the progress of their private cloud efforts. Application workload deployment decisions are being made every day; every decision that puts the application in the public cloud means one more application that will never be deployed internally. Forget the "transfer your cloud applications to a production-quality internal cloud" rhetoric often spouted by vendors. The reality is that, once deployed, applications find their permanent home.

This means IT organizations planning private cloud environments have a short runway to deliver something. Otherwise, the cloud adoption decision will be made in a de facto fashion. Moreover, the measure of that private cloud will be how well it matches up to the convenience and functionality of public providers. A "cloud" that makes IT operator's jobs more convenient but does nothing for cloud users will end up a ghost town, bypassed by developers and business units on their journey to agility and business responsiveness.

5. Cloud Brokerage Will Come Into Focus

Just as private cloud computing will face some hard truths in 2014, so, too, will the vision of hybrid cloud computing as a single homogenous technology spanning internal data centers and external cloud environments hosted by the internal technology provider. The reality is that every enterprise will use multiple cloud environments delivered with heterogeneous platforms. The crucial need will be to create or obtain capabilities to manage the different cloud environments with a consistent management framework — i.e., cloud brokerage.


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