Forrester – Cloud Predictions for 2013

Now that we’re nearing the end of the year, there is one key takeaway from the cloud computing industry: enterprise use has finally arrived. The use of Cloud Computing is no longer hidden from plain sight and IT departments are now very upfront about their company use, resulting in legitimate cloud budgeting taking place. In fact, the latest Forrsights Surveys state that half of all enterprises in North America and Europe are planning to create budgets for cloud related investments in 2013.

This means that cloud usage will finally get real in 2013. It marks the end for all the speculation and the cloudwashing, as corporations and organizations start getting down to the real business of incorporating cloud technology into their formal IT portfolios. Some of the most important predictions about cloud technology in the coming year include:

We’ll No Longer Believe That “Everything is Going Cloud.”

We have reached the point where we already understand the difference between cloud platforms and conventional virtual infrastructures, therefore we’ll have a much more realistic idea on what fits in the cloud and what doesn’t.

Cloud and Mobile Technology Will Merge

Nowadays, there’s very little value in a mobile app that can’t call out through the Internet to back-end services. These backend services will live in the Cloud, since putting them in your datacenter will live your infrastructure open to an unpredictable flood of traffic.

We’ll No Longer Be Up In Arms About Cloud SLAs

We’ve already realized that apps should be designed to protect themselves, as building resiliency into an application is now considered best practice, instead of relying on security from the cloud platform.

We’ll Have a More Realistic Outlook on Cost Modeling

After a couple of years of thinking that the Cloud is a one size fits all cost-saving technology, we have now realized that cloud technology isn’t always cheaper, but rather cheaper with the right use model.

We’ll Start Taking the Cloud Seriously When it Comes to Backup & DR

Instead of buying additional resources as disasters happen, organizations will start to prefer cloud computing and its pay per use model as it is more cost efficient and can be deployed much faster during testing or in the event of a disaster. While the cloud won’t replace conventional BCDR resources completely, the speed in which it drives down the cost of storage and computing power will make people question why they ever tried to maintain their own long-term cold storage.

Cloud Will Not Be Considered a Commodity

While cloud services are highly automated and standardized, it doesn’t mean it should be considered as a commodity. There are many cloud companies that are supported by top of the line hardware that offers GPUs, SSDs, and others. In the next few years, we may witness the growth of these options as cloud providers start leveraging them in order to meet the needs of the consumers and to get ahead of the competition.

Cloud Will No Longer Be Equated with AWS

While Amazon’s AWS has become one of the largest and most influential provider of cloud services with its 70% market share, the next year will see the market give way to more competitors that are equally as robust as Amazon’s offering. Microsoft and Google’s offerings, for instance, have already made significant improvements and it is expected that at least 3 Openstack-based clouds will be launched.

Developers Will Finally Realize that Development isn’t that Different Via Cloud

It’s taken developers a little bit long to realize it, but there are no cloud-specific or cloud-optimized language. The coding will remain the same and the only difference will be in the services orientation, as well as the need to configure applications to provide specific availabilities and performance. A well trained developer will be at home in the cloud in and we’re going to see more participation in the next few years.

Cyber Security Could Become Federal Law

Cyber intrusions are becoming a daily part of life in the web-oriented world. Several of  them are so significant that they make it to the top of the headlines, prompting a lot of firms to allocate more budget into protecting their computer assets. And in spite of what seems to be broad-bi-partisan appeal, the Congress has already debated about passing a cyber security bill earlier this year. Washington may finally pass a cyber security law mandating new measures for the private sector this year.

The Mobile Wave Will Move Much Quicker

Mobile computing devices – from smart phones to tablets and even ultraportables – have become such a huge part of our daily lives these past few years that its expected to make up a huge percentage of the computing power available in the future. Mobile devices are no longer looked down upon as they are now as powerful as their desktop cousins. What makes the mobile wave even better is that devices continue to get more powerful and manufacturing costs continue to get cheaper.

Big Data and Cloud Computing Boom

A lot of analysts consider big data and cloud computing as two separate categories, but they’re actually two sides of the same tech coin. For instance, as soon as a firm decides to migrate all of its data to the cloud, it will realize that it’s sitting on a gold mine and will invest in big data to cut costs and find new revenue streams. The reverse is also true, as firms that want to find revenue out of the vast treasure trove of client info they have will find the need to move all of their data to the cloud, as it’s significantly cheaper and easier to do than creating a new infrastructure from scratch.

Asia Will Gravitate Towards Cloud Servers

In 2013, a large part of Asia will skip the pure virtualization phase and will instead jump to cloud servers from their dedicated servers. This will happen because the precedents set by the US and Europe means that they no longer need to go through the virtualization stage, since there’s already something better in the form of the cloud.

Local Cloud Networks Will Start Emerging

Local cloud networks will start to become more prevalent as they aim to solve important issues related to the confidence of the market on the company’s capability to secure their data and provide them the service they are expecting. Most of them will be delivered by nearby ISPs and Telcos.

Community Clouds Will Start Advancing

With community clouds showing the industry its benefits, it’s understandable that the coming years will see the rise of more multi-tenant infrastructure that supports specific groups of users based on industry and/or geography.

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