The expanding reach of cloud in 2014
Most of the IT industry is in agreement that cloud computing will continue to grow throughout 2014 (scratch the surface and the figures will blow your mind!). As such, the enterprise IT department is becoming an important hub in most organizations, taking the lead on strategic decisions rather than remaining in the background.
The tsunami of data created by financial transactions, medical records, mobile phones, social media and the Internet of Things, as well as many of the strategic decisions coming out of the IT department will be related to cloud. However, it’s also important to remember that, in today’s enterprise IT environment, not every workload or application is suited for the cloud – that transition is more strategic than a “drag and drop.”King Arthur: Legend of the Sword live streaming film
As organizations try to fit more and more of their IT assets, databases and applications into cloud environments, this fact will become much clearer and we will see more definition around what should – and should not – be supported by it. In the meantime, cloud computing will expand to play a leading role in big data management; data center virtualization and cloud services, specifically. There will also be an interesting ripple effect in the industry following this expansion of cloud applications, particularly impacting service providers’ focus on the customer experience and hiring.
Big data gets bigger
More and more, cloud computing is making data processing and analysis a real-time activity. Up until now, big data was very focused on historical performance analysis. There has always been a close relationship between big data and cloud computing, as the cloud provides unlimited compute power and storage to support big data usage, yet by adding real-time processing capabilities, we will see a rise in real-time data analytics and an evolution in the products that companies can build.
Cloud is the new hardware
For servers, storage and networking equipment to function as one big “machine” in which applications can rapidly scale up and down, the entire infrastructure must be virtualized and centrally-controlled – that is, software-defined. Ultimately, this trend toward virtualization goes beyond SDN to include every system in the data center. Advanced software control schemes pioneered by public cloud providers will continue to trickle down into the enterprise IT environment.
Cloud providers add gravity to the cloud
As the cloud becomes the only environment in which large data volumes can be stored, accessed and analyzed on demand, cloud providers will focus on adding new cloud services to attract customers and encourage user stickiness. Integrated cloud offerings will extend hybrid cloud environments beyond purely fixed systems to influence more mobile networks; systems, ideas and solutions; people and things; and intelligence and information.
Ramifications to the wider IT industry
Recent and upcoming IPOs stemming from the growing success of the cloud space will force cloud providers to evolve quickly, especially in the area of customer retention. With disillusion on the horizon and much shorter subscription terms, it’s easy for a customer to switch providers. Cloud providers will, thus, have to focus on retaining their existing customer base and avoid high churn rates that may cripple their revenue streams before they can enter the “slope of enlightenment.”
Battle of the rock stars
A big part of stopping churn is giving customers the services and capabilities that they want, and that means software developers are the new rock stars. With the benefits of platforms like Azure, Pivotal, Salesforce and even Amazon, more enterprises will be able to put their code on one or more of these platforms. But, to do that, they will need more developers. The big platforms will battle for the best engineers’ favors and enterprises will pay for their status.
Ultimately, we will see the cloud expand into many more facets of IT in order to better address the needs of the enterprise. With that said, we need to stop saying that everything will eventually go to the cloud. I don’t think that we will ever see an enterprise market that is 100 percent grounded in cloud computing, as so many IT functions require the stability or dedicated infrastructure of a private environment. However, there are many opportunities for the IT department to deliver innovation to their workforce and customers through the cloud, ultimately resulting in much higher user satisfaction across the board.
This post was originally published on VMblog as part of industry predictions for 2014.