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Changing Cloud Landscapes of 2014

Gartner says the overall cloud pie grew to $131 billion in 2013 including such segments as IaaS, SaaS and advertising. IDC predicts amazing growth for aggregate cloud spending in 2014 – 25%, or over $100 billion.

cloud

According to Forbes, nearly 60% of today’s SMEs use cloud services, of which 72% “virtualize significant portions of their servers”.

As cloud technologies evolve on every front from IaaS and SaaS to platform independence and custom security, what developments will most likely boost enterprise cloud adoption during 2014? We’ve just looked through different think tanks to see how cloud landscapes will be changing throughout the year and what factors will have an effect.

Internet of Things will take off

Solutions such as big data analytics, smart objects and end-user applications are rolling out across all major industries now, with cloud computing platforms having a potential to create next-gen software-defined machines that will operate and be fully controlled from remote centralized hubs. Internet of Things will depend much on the cloud technology for processing power, interconnectedness and storage. Smart objects will be fitted with sensors and chips to feed data back to the cloud platforms for research and analysis. As such, cloud technology seems to be the only one suited perfectly for information filtering, analysis, storage and access.

Open source will become a major driver of Cloud penetration with enterprises

License fees actually discourage many businesses, as nobody wants to pay each time they spin up a cloud server. Convergence of mobile, web and social will actually kill proprietary some day in the future, as entrepreneurs will try to reduce or eliminate dependence on traditional software vendors. Remember old days when it was a must to have Microsoft, SAP or Oracle servers to properly run the operations? Now the situation is totally different, as cloud allows us to take advantage of both hosted services and IT infrastructure (e.g. servers). Entrepreneurs can now run their businesses without purchasing and maitaining a roomful of own servers. In 201, more organizations will simply plug into hosted turnkey IT-in-a-box solutions offered by open source vendors such as OpenStack, OpenShift, Red Hat, and others. As a result, they’ll be able to achieve significant cost saving by renting virtual servers in the cloud.

2014 will be the year of Hybrid Cloud

Now when it’s clear that 2014 will not become the year of Ultimate Cloud (many pundits had actually predicted before that 2012 and then 2013 would become the years of cloud, and they did not, in fact), it will most likely be the year of Hybrid Cloud – a concept combining on-premises private cloud with public cloud services.

David Nichols, Principal of Ernst & Young IT Advisory Services, claims that Cloud will “remain hidden within operating models within IT organizations” until companies reach the point when over 30% of their workloads are carried in the cloud. More providers will be offering specific hybrid cloud services to businesses providing IT with the flexibility to either build or buy solutions. Business benefits are obvious: companies will be able to focus on their essential and mission critical applications while outsourcing the non-essential ones.

However, enterprises will need to make some important considerations prior to opting for this mixed model and should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Will our application be deployed directly to the cloud or just stay there for its whole lifecycle?
  • Is there a chance for our application to be redeployed back into our corporate data center?

With sales force automation seeing 40%, ERP seeing less than 10% and EPM less than 5% cloud penetration, there’s still a long way for the cloud to become fully mainstream in the enterprise world. And how would you assess your current cloud readiness on a 10-point scale?

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