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Happy clouding, 2014!

Happy clouding, 2014!

2014-cloud-trends-670px2014 is going to be an especially exciting year for cloud computing, don’t you think? With the triumph of cloud computing underway, this year will surely hold great developments in the field. We should expect to see many articles next year proclaiming the success of one cloud application or another and how cloud computing made such an application possible when it never could have existed before.

The market is entering a new phase, a more mature one, one where more discipline will be added to cloud purchases. Corporations will take a closer look at private and public cloud services from a business perspective. Companies will try to determine if the public cloud deals they signed have hidden costs or made economic sense, and more due diligence and cloud assessments will become much more common.

2014 will not be so difficult to predict, so let’s take a look at some cloud trends for the year that just begun:

  • Focus on performance and security

Many organizations will understand in 2014 that their approach to both issues needs to keep up with the evolution of cloud. Many enterprises tried to push their traditional approach into the cloud, and found that existing security processes, procedures, and technology won’t match to the distributed nature of the cloud.

Also, the companies that resisted the cloud because of security concerns will run out of excuses. The leading public cloud providers have made strong gains in security and compliance, and there are few workloads completely off-limits for public cloud anymore. At the same time, securing private clouds has become safer, more reliable and easier to control through advanced management tools.

Companies are starting to understand that they are not experts at deploying well-performing cloud-based systems, and seek new approaches and tools.  Most performance issues are caused by poor architecture or application designs, not the limitations of the cloud platforms, so organizations will start taking advantage of cloud-native features by refactoring their applications.

  • Increased app migration

Enterprises will migrate applications to cloud-based platforms, and they might not consider the underlying design and architecture.  Most deploy a rapid approach and will end up with applications that exist in the cloud, but don’t work well or take advantage of being in the cloud. DaaS is a great example, this cloud segment is growing at an alarming rate although not fully understanding how these applications were running in the physical environments often make migrations complicated or cause the projects to fail.

Without ample planning and consideration, the cost and complexity of migrating these applications can lead to delayed cloud projects that are over budget.

  • Google and Microsoft get serious about the cloud

Both Google and Microsoft have AWS in their crosshairs and are rolling out serious competitive offerings. Both have recognized that their initial cloud offerings were inadequate, and with the new version, both companies deliver competitive cloud offerings.

Microsoft has an obvious opportunity here. It has an enormous installed base and a huge developer community. Its offering integrates directly with existing development tools and makes it easy to host an application in Azure. Its greatest challenge may not be in technology, but in redirecting the inertia of its existing business and partner base. Nevertheless, Microsoft has plainly come to understand that AWS represents a great threat and is prepared to handle it.

Google is in a different position. It has no installed base threatened by AWS. Nevertheless, it has decided to go after Amazon, using its deep pockets and outstanding technical resources as weapons. Over the past decade, Google has been far more innovative than Microsoft, and that alone implies that it might be the most creative opponent AWS faces over the next year.

  • The rise of personal cloud

In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about, although the devices will still be necessary. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.

Well, there you have it. I believe this year we’ll witness cloud computing becoming the dominant platform for IT. There will be many successes as users learn to take advantage of the new capabilities cloud computing offers, along with challenges to many in the industry who struggle to make a successful transition to the platform of the future.

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