The need for cloud brokerage extends beyond the technical, by the way. While a "single pane of glass" using consistent tools and governance across a variety of cloud environments is crucial, managing utilization and cost in those environments is just as important, and that will become increasingly evident in 2014.
Financial brokerage capability will come into focus next year because companies will have rolled out significant applications and find that resource use and overall costs are unpredictable, given the "pay per use" model of public cloud providers. Having tools that track resource use and make recommendations to optimize utilization and overall cost will join technical brokerage as a key cloud computing requirement.
By the way, cloud brokerage is a way for IT to deliver value to end users. Once IT recognizes it's in the business of infrastructure management and not asset ownership, it will recognize the immense value it can deliver to assist developers and business users make the best use of public cloud computing environments.
6. AWS Will Continues Its Torrid Pace of Innovation
One of the most striking things about Amazon is how rapidly it is evolving its service and how often is delivers new functionality. Sometimes the cloud service provider (CSP) industry resembles one of those movies in which one character speeds through a scene while all the other actors move at an agonizingly slow pace.
It's traditional that once a vendor gets a new product or service established, its pace of innovation drops as it confronts the need to help its customers adopt its initial innovative offering. This phenomenon even has a storied name, Crossing the Chasm, from the eponymous book, which refers to how vendors have to become more like their existing competitors in order to achieve mainstream success.
As AWS crosses the $4 billion revenue mark, it doesn't seem to be decelerating its innovation progress. Far from it. At its recent re:invent 2013 conference, AWS announced five major new offerings and pointed out that it would deliver more than 250 new offerings or service improvements in 2013.
Nothing indicates that 2014 will be any different; expect many new AWS services and service offerings. In a recent set of posts on AWS hardware and software infrastructure, I note that, during its first years, AWS created a global, highly scaled infrastructure that reliably delivers foundation capabilities in computing, storage and networking.
Today, AWS can leverage those building blocks to create higher-level functionality targeted at emerging needs of its customers. For example, the just-announced AWS Kinesis event processing service uses EC2, Elastic Load Balancer, DynamoDB, and IAM as ingredients, along with Kinesis service-specific code, combined as part of a new recipe.
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