Five Cloud Trends to Watch Now

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Five Cloud Trends to Watch Now

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing  |  August 03, 2012

It’s no surprise to anyone reading this that what the future holds for cloud computing is uncertain – which is why analysis of the market needs frequent review and it’s what we strive to provide within each issue of Cloud Computing.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with dozens of cloud leaders at Cloud Expo in New York City – from storage providers to VDI vendors to security and authentication solution companies, the common message among these IT thought leaders is that cloud is not only here to stay, but it’s reached a Rubicon of sorts. Cloud is now being embraced by a majority of enterprise IT departments, at least according to attendees and vendors at the 10th Annual Cloud Expo.

As the cloud model takes hold, it promises to offer higher-value business activities, lower costs and more innovation. Gartner (News - Alert) recently identified five cloud computing “subtrends” that will be accelerating, shifting or reaching a tipping point over the next three years – and that users and providers alike must consider:

1. Cloud Activity Shifting to Higher Value

As the cloud model matures, issues will arise over security, availability, integration and vendor lock-in. These prospective benefits need to be examined carefully and mapped against these challenges, which create a complex environment in which to evaluate individual cloud offerings. 

2. Hybrid Clouds Gain Traction

Businesses are taking advantage of the cloud in varying forms – utilizing public, private and hybrid models, with some on-premise computing. Eventually, companies may adopt a hybrid mixture of all three, depending on their changing business requirements. Enterprises need to focus near-term efforts on application and data integration, linking fixed internal and external applications with a hybrid solution, according to Gartner.

3. Cloud Brokers Facilitating Consumption

Since companies need help migrating IT resources to the cloud, the demand for cloud services brokerages will continue to increase. IT departments should consider how they can position themselves as brokers by setting up a purchasing process for cloud adoption so that business units will look to them for support.

4. Cloud-Centric Design

Businesses should look beyond merely moving enterprise workloads to the cloud and instead to the development of apps optimized for the cloud. Such an approach would take advantage of the special characteristics, opportunities and limitations of a cloud model.

5. Data Center Development Influenced By Cloud

To the extent that the enterprise continues to build its own data centers, the implementation models used by cloud services providers will influence them. Enterprises need to apply the concepts of cloud computing to future data center and infrastructure investments to increase agility and efficiency.

These five trends are shaping the cloud movement as we see it today. In this issue of Cloud Computing, we also explore other important emerging subtrends and topics, including the impact cloud is having on IT outsourcing, the significance of application performance management – and don’t miss our cover story on how cloud providers can monetize SaaS (News - Alert).

Edited by Brooke Neuman