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Where is cloud computing heading in 2014?

Rebecca Merrett | Dec. 17, 2013
Microsoft and Amazon Web Services to become one of the greatest head-to-head competitors for 2014, says Gartner’s Michael Warrilow

"Microsoft has announced their plans to come here next year with Azure, and I expect that will happen in the first half of the year. I think the big thing in Australia will be increasing choice and increasing competition."

However, due to revelations of government spying by the National Security Agency in the US, more organisations may lean more towards local cloud players, rather than global companies like Amazon and Microsoft.

"If you go with an Australian-owned company that only operates in Australia, there's more legal protection and control, you are not likely to wade into international legal risks. It doesn't mean that you are not going to get snooped on, but it may appeal to Australian companies to stay with an Australian player."

Telsyte's Gedda adds that we can expect to see security and privacy as a key theme around the cloud next year. He says it won't be a deal breaker, but organisations will certainly look at keeping their sensitive data onshore under Australian jurisdictions.

2014 will also bring about a mobile-cloud paradigm, where cloud services are managed via mobile devices, Gedda says.

"I think the ability to take control of cloud services from any device is something that will mature in 2014, become more of a mainstream thing."

Tim Sheedy, Forrester analyst, says the good thing for CIOs next year is that cloud offerings will finally start to really mean cloud and not another version of outsourcing. So instead of having to sign up to three- to five-year contracts, more providers will mature their services and allow for flexibility in scaling up and down, he said.

"That's one of the issues of cloud in the past where this term 'cloud washing', where we are not going to use the world hosting anymore, we are going to use the word cloud," he says.

"So with service providers starting to move towards what is truly a cloud-based service I think there will be more trust in the term which means as an IT shop you know what you are going to get.

"Your cost could go down if your usage goes down, which is ultimately — from an infrastructure, back end perspective — is what you are looking for."


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