This article originally appeared in Cloud Computing Magazine Q4 2012
Following the launch of the iPhone (News - Alert) 5, the technology world’s attention was focused squarely on the new features and enhanced capabilities – as well as those that were still missing from Apple’s latest iconic device. In fact, the majority of technology conversations tend to focus on what users can do with the latest hardware, services and applications.
It’s a natural conversation, as those features and capabilities are the selling points. But they also serve to set user expectations. Whether it’s surrounding NBC’s online coverage of the Olympic Games, Facebook’s (News - Alert) mobile apps, mobile integration with a corporate PBX, connectivity to an enterprise WLAN, or any other capability, the expectation has been set by vendors and service providers that these services should “just work.” When they don’t, conversation begins rabidly and, more often than not, users don’t know how to handle the situation, whether in personal or corporate environments.
In the corporate world, when technology doesn’t work properly, the first call is typically to the IT department. After all, that’s what they are there for. The problem – and this is only exacerbated by the BYOD movement – is there are so many devices and applications that can cause challenges for users and, consequently, for IT staff.
That means IT has less time to perform their other tasks, including managing and maintaining network infrastructure and deploying and updating corporate software and services. It seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
But, to the contrary, there is plenty of hope and opportunity, thanks to the evolution of cloud services. In fact, the continuing maturation of cloud computing offers a new set of opportunities for IT staff to effectively offload much of their IT management to cloud service providers, who have developed hosts of services running in cloud environments specifically to ease the IT burden within the enterprise.
In fact, nearly all business IT functions can now be outsourced to cloud providers and MSPs, who have built entire cloud portfolios that deliver enterprise services, while relieving IT staff of the management duties. When you look at the companies featured in these pages, along with the host of providers present at TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO, Cloud4SMB Expo, and Cloud Communications Expo, it’s evident that everything from voice communications and email to storage and security to full-blown network and mobile management can be fully or partially outsourced.
Even traditional hardware vendors have started building out cloud portfolios, either on their own, or by acquiring or partnering with cloud vendors, recognizing the value they can offer customers be easing much of their IT burden. If you’re not a believer yet, take a look at some of these statistics.
- Open Data Center Alliance members are adopting cloud services 15 percent faster than originally predicted, with more than half of its members expecting to run more than 40 percent of their IT operations in the private cloud by 2015.
- Worldwide spend on public IT cloud services will top $40 billion in this year, reaching $100 billion by 2016, according to IDC (News - Alert), growing at a CAGR of more than 26 percent.
- IDC also says that, this year, 80 percent of new commercial enterprise apps will be deployed on cloud platforms.
- Gartner (News - Alert) predicts that by the end of 2016, more than half of the Global 1000 will be storing customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.
- Parallels says the SMB cloud services market grew 25 percent last year $15.1 billion, and expects it to hit $69 billion next year, a CAGR of 26 percent.
- Intel says a new cloud server is brought online for every 600 smartphones or 120 tablets. If Piper Jaffray’s prediction of more than 27 million iPhone 5 sales by the end of the year is close, that alone will see 45,000 new cloud servers added.
Certainly, there are naysayers, and doubts about the viability and security of the cloud have been plentiful, but, without exception, the folks I spoke to at Cloud Expo in New York earlier this year echoed the notion that these questions have been answered and cloud adoption is set to experience massive growth among businesses of all sized (watch all the TMC interviews from Cloud Expo at www.tmcnet.com/tmc/videos to see some of the incredible advances in cloud computing).
Edited by Stefania Viscusi