Thanks to cloud computing along with other disruptive technologies such as mobility, M2M and big data analytics, workers will have more and better information at their fingertips, allowing them to make smarter decisions faster in 2014.
"We are experiencing the democratization of enterprise technology," says David Small, chief platform officer of Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Mirroring what has happened in consumer technology, enterprise technology users look for services to be delivered on demand, to a time and place of their choosing and in the way that they want. In 2014, enterprise success will be measured by how well organizations are able to use technology to meet user expectations and harness individual innovation."
This, of course, means 2014 will continue the trend of putting pressure on the CIO and the IT shop to transform, says John Considine, CTO of Verizon Terremark (formerly founder and CTO of CloudSwitch).
In 2014, Considine says, the two roles of the CIO and IT function will be thrown into increasingly sharp relief: the CIO and IT organization as an operations arm on the one hand and the IT organization as innovator that delivers new solutions and technologies on the other.
"These two roles must exist simultaneously for the CIO and the IT organization, providing the basis so the business can innovate, be agile and go forward," Considine says. "That's going to be the center of how IT functions in 2014."
The cloud is no longer an "if" for many businesses, it's a given, says Tony DiBenedetto, founder of technology services provider and cloud solutions specialists Tribridge. Most businesses already work in the cloud, or store data there, or deploy applications from the cloud, he says, and as a result the cloud will be the major driver of IT spending and decision making for the foreseeable future.
What will the coming year hold for the cloud? Here are 10 predictions for 2014.
1. Further Segmentation, Greater Education
Right now, DiBenedetto says, customers are just beginning to understand the differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments. In 2014, the market will see a greater segmentation and better education about which type of cloud works best for individual businesses, and the types of workloads for which each variety of cloud works best.
"In 2014, I predict we'll see savvier consumers as figure out which workloads are best for different clouds," he says. "Demarcation is going to go further as organizations determine the importance of business-critical workloads, and consider their security. CIOs will ask themselves, 'Do I want to share my database and infrastructure, in the cloud, with other companies? Am I willing to take the risk of slower performance, or server hassles if their workloads affect the performance of a shared cloud?' If the answer is no, then they'll move to private clouds. If the answer is yes, then they'll pick a public cloud, but maybe they'll use that for less critical applications," DiBenedetto says.
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