7 Trends That Can Define the Future of Cloud Computing

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There are two big reasons that leaders across every industry are gung-ho about the Cloud. One reason for this huge confidence in Cloud computing is that it is one of the most disruptive technologies to have emerged on the scene in the last decade. The second and what I think is a far more critical reason is what the Cloud, its adoption and application promises for the future. It is when business owners “foresee the future” of the Cloud that they say to themselves, “Yes, this is the technology that I want to tie my business fortunes to”.

  • A RightScale 2014 survey called Cloud Computing Trends: 2014 State of the Cloud has come up with some revealing figures:
  • 94% (yes that many!) respondents are using the Cloud at some level.
  • 18% of Enterprises are Cloud Focused ( eagerly adopting the Cloud), 31% are Cloud Explorers, 35% are Cloud Beginners and just 16% are on the sidelines deciding whether to move to the Cloud or not.
  • 90% of Cloud Focused enterprise organizations saw a tangible improvement in their performance through Cloud adoption.

The figures for small business Cloud adoption are also very positive. This tells us two very important things:

  1. Doubts about the Cloud and its efficacy are disappearing.
  2. The Cloud’s been delivering on its promises and businesses have high expectations about its future deliverables.

Let’s see if the 7 trends given below can justify industry optimism with the Cloud:

1. Cloud is the Innovation Driver of the Future

Watch the Cloud as the source, the catalyst and the trigger for the next big discovery. Thinking of Cloud Computing as this collection of virtual servers available over the internet that you can move many of your applications and process to, is a limiting idea. Rather, one needs to think of the Cloud as a meeting place for a range of disruptive technologies like Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Mobile and others, which becomes fertile ground for new discoveries. Think of Cloud computing as a framework and a platform that powers the use of these technologies. By reducing process complexity and helping leverage the potential of other disruptive technologies, the Cloud has already begun driving rapid innovation and will continue to do so in the future.

2. The Rise and Rise of Hybrid Computing

There is a nice article on Network World, called Hybrid Cloud: The year of adoption is upon us; it makes a case for hybrid Cloud and its growing emergence as the first choice of enterprises moving to the Cloud. What’s more, Gartner predicts 50% of large enterprises will adopt the Hybrid Cloud by 2017. As organizations increasingly look to find balance between the need to offload some services to the Cloud and manage some resources in-house, the Hybrid Cloud will be the option of choice. If there is one fear about the Cloud that might not go away any time soon, it is data security. The Hybrid Cloud is the answer; businesses can keep sensitive data in-house in their private Cloud and still leverage the cost and scalability benefit of the public Cloud.

3. IT will Lose Cloud Discomfort

Since the time Cloud emerged on the scene, an organization’s IT department has never been comfortable with the prospect of trusting this technology. There were a few reasons for this. Firstly, the people in charge didn’t completely understand the Cloud and what you don’t understand, you cannot trust; Secondly, the fear of impending irrelevance if a business rapidly adopted the Cloud; Thirdly, there was a reluctance to relearn skill sets and get on top of a technology that was making news for all the right reasons. Well, that seems to be changing. IT personnel are slowly realizing that they cannot stop the march of progress (clichéd as it may sound, that is the way it is). They are fast recognizing the fact that they won’t be rendered irrelevant in the changed scenario, but they need to reevaluate and reanalyze their contribution to the organization. From providers of IT services, they’ve become enablers of Cloud services. IT is still in charge but their profile has changed, and for the better. They can now play an important role in triggering the strategic growth of an organization, courtesy the Cloud.

4. Cloud Battles will move Beyond Price

If you’ve been following the happenings in the Cloud industry, you must be aware of the price battles fought by the three major Cloud services providers, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. While this is good news for customers, there is still better news to come. There will come a time (not too far off), when price will not be the only reason why organizations will see sense in moving to the Cloud. As Cloud computing matures, so will its customers and their expectations. These customers will start demanding better features and services from cloud service providers. We are already seeing the battle for differentiation begin to play out where Cloud providers are trying to differentiate themselves on the brunt of their features; this is set to pick up steam in the near future. Price wars will be old news, battles will be won feature for feature, service for service. Get ready for some exciting times ahead!

5. Cloud Managed Services Will be Big

If you are moving a collection of services to the Cloud, you will also need to manage these services for you. This arguably will be a huge growth area in the future, where more are more managed service providers will look to leverage the potential of the Cloud market. This is because customers will be looking for services providers who can manage their services for them. A company like Rackspace has already exited the IaaS market and is betting big on managed Cloud. It believes the managed Cloud can rescue its dwindling fortunes. So, the question is – will it be able to resurrect itself? Let’s wait and watch, but chances are that it will.

6. A Home for Small Businesses in the Cloud

You are going to see plenty of small businesses opening their shop on the Cloud. The plummeting price of Cloud services is just one of the many reasons why these businesses will see immense sense in delivering their products and services through the Cloud. Businesses have just begun to make sense of the Cloud and are realizing its immense potential to boost business growth. We are entering a stretch where businesses will not just build new products and services for the Cloud, but whose operations will be driven by the Cloud.

7. Beat Expectations

Forester expects the public Cloud market to be worth $191 billion by 2020 , which is huge. But expect the market to defy expectations. Businesses are queuing up to take advantage of the Cloud market, and there are all chances the growth estimate might just surpass Forester’s predictions. I believe the Cloud can become the most disruptive technology ever, purely on the brunt of the benefits it brings to the table. It has infinite scope and scale and we have just begun scratching the surface. Imagine what we will unearth when we start digging deeper?

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