The cloud has settled in to stay.
Since its first emergence, cloud has been both a curiosity and a concern for CIOs and IT professionals. Now that this modern computing system has swept the information industry, what will happen next?
Here are five trends in cloud computing, for 2013 and beyond.
1) Public Cloud and Integration
Virtualisation and private clouds created a "balance” between the operability of the public cloud and the security of in-house systems. But private cloud operability, requiring either an in-house management team or a 3rd party manager, have many analysts divided on whether the private cloud will increase or decrease in the SMB market. SAP claims that SMBs in the US especially will leverage more private cloud services , while CIO Magazine claims that private clouds are little more than "warmed-over” virtualisation as developers realise the cheap agility of the public cloud.
Regardless, most analysts agree that the public cloud will increase in popularity in 2013 and beyond, especially as hybrid cloud offerings increase. Hybrid models allow organisations to move part of their data into the public cloud, while keeping other IT-resources on-site or in a private cloud. Many of the industry’s key players are jumping into the "battle for the cloud” largely through public and hybrid cloud offerings.
2) New Pricing Schemes and Intense Competition
The explosive entrance of public cloud options from Microsoft, Google, HP, and IBM has forced the ancient leader, Amazon Web Services (AWS), to stay on its toes. Within a month, Google publically released Google Compute Engine with its per-minute pricing scheme and Microsoft announced a number of improvements for their Azure system, including new pricing. These per-minute pricing capabilities only add to the allure of the public cloud, especially as increased competition creates innovation within the field. But only the cloud providers with the best access to computing volume will emerge as leaders of the pack, according to CIO. While AWS certainly faces competition, it is by no means out of the race.
3) Multiple Cloud Devices
According to Gartner, the typical knowledge worker now employs up to four devices —mobile phone, media tablet, personal PC and enterprise PC, for example— to access their organisation’s office system capabilities in a single week. In fact, BYOD (Bring your own device) has pushed many companies to use cloud in the first place, as it decreases the IT burdens of installing, maintaining, and upgrading local office software to accommodate multiple devices. Pricing models for the cloud have partly emerged due to the emergence of multiple device organisations. Now, some companies pay-per-user instead of per device for software, leading to "significant savings” for the company, according to Gartner.
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4) Increased Security (trends of growth)
Original concerns about security in the cloud have led to a healthy and growing cloud security sector that’s bringing in increasing revenue shares, according to SAP. The three big concerns of information management—security, privacy, and reliability—have all been positively impacted by innovations in the cloud, according to a study completed by Microsoft . In the study, 94 per cent of SMB cloud users in the UK said they experienced security benefits with the cloud that they did not have with on-premise offerings. 68 per cent said their levels of privacy protection had increased as a result of moving to the cloud, while 82 per cent said they had experienced improved service availability. In an article for Cloud Pro, Adrienne Hall, general manager of Trustworthy Computing, noted that fear of the unknown usually drove businesses away from the cloud. New information about the cloud has been changing that old perception.
5) Shifting IT Role
The role of the IT manager has already begun to change due to the cloud. Even though some IT management is being taken out of the hands of the companies themselves, IT professionals and IT managers still have their place within a cloud-driven environment. Skill gaps in the workforce that appear due to implementation of the cloud can be mitigated by IT professionals within companies able to reach out and collaborate. Demand for IT managers within cloud brokerage companies will also increase.