9 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2013
Cloud computing is without question the most important IT development in recent memory. The cloud changes nearly everything, including the role of the CIO, how companies pay for computing power, even IT’s relationship with the business. And these changes show no sign of slowing. In fact, we expect to see several new and dramatic cloud-computing developments this year.
Security: The conversation matures.
While the business continues to worry about security and compliance in the cloud, the security trade-offs are now better understood. Some workloads are appropriate for the cloud; others are not. One result of this should be a rapid adoption of virtual private clouds. These systems let CIOs provision private, isolated sections of larger public clouds. This approach helps CIOs lower costs while offering security at nearly data center levels.
Financial services: Accepting the cloud.
Until very recently, the financial services industry distrusted the public cloud and instead chose to build private clouds, essentially virtualized data centers. However, building private clouds has proven expensive, with few benefits to show. As a result, we expect financial services companies to begin engaging trusted service providers to offer selected IT services.
The cloud is a great platform for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. A soda-vending machine can now communicate with banking systems, via the cloud, to securely accept credit cards. Automobiles will increasingly stream over the cloud videos, applications, driver manuals, security information and more. And houses connected by the cloud could assist the elderly while also helping all of us reduce energy use. M2M is the Internet of the future.
Public sector: “Shadow IT” hangs around.
Thanks to the cloud, individuals can order IT services directly, without having to go through their IT departments. Known as Shadow IT, this development may be empowering for individuals, but it’s a problem for both IT and public sector organizations. Fortunately, government programs are now formalizing cloud contracts, and eventually, there should be no need for individual workers to order IT services directly. But Shadow IT will not disappear overnight.
Enterprise applications: Get on board.
This year, automated production workloads — enterprise-class applications — should move to the cloud en masse. Increasingly, automated templates will be used to initiate applications in the cloud. This, in turn, should spur the development of enterprise-class clouds that are secure, scalable, automated and easy to use.
Disaster recovery: From “nice-to-have” to vital.
Last year the United States saw devastating hurricanes, blizzards and droughts. Yet many cloud vendors still offer disaster-recovery services that are less than top-notch. This must change. Enterprises today demand instant availability, continuity and recovery. These demands will only intensify, placing cloud providers under severe pressure to respond.
Mobile computing: Love the cloud.
Mobile computing and the cloud were made for each other. As 4G service becomes more widely available, and as the quantity of data that flows in and out of our smartphones and computing tablets grows exponentially, the cloud becomes indispensible. Mobile apps and data will increasingly live in the cloud.
Cloud brokers: Gaining prominence.
Expect to hear a lot this year about cloud brokers, community platforms that offer template-based services. Users of these cloud brokers can now buy software, infrastructure or other platforms — all as a service. For now, however, the cloud-broker market is still somewhat vaguely defined. That will change. In fact, we believe cloud brokers represent cloud computing’s next generation.
Asia: Leapfrogging to the cloud.
China’s market for cloud services will likely exceed $100 million for the first time this year. That will set the stage for even more investment and segmentation. Other areas of Asia — notably Malaysia and Indonesia — are ripe for the cloud, too. These countries have a tradition of leapfrogging technologies. For example, while the West transitioned from the mainframe to the minicomputer to the PC, much of Asia jumped directly from mainframes to the Web. Now these countries are mostly skipping virtualization and heading directly to the cloud.
Learn more at: www.csc.com/cloud.
Siki Giunta is a VP and general manager of cloud computing and software services at CSC.