As we begin 2013, its interesting to take a look back at 2012, the year in which, in so many ways, cloud computing broke. In 2012, we saw the expansion of cloud-based technologies for both businesses and consumers, the expansion of Amazon Web Services as the dominant public cloud provider, the entrance of other giants like HP and Google, and a broader emphasis in terms of internal adoption of cloud within businesses, all the way up to the enterprise.
Those may be the broad strokes of the past year, but drilling down a bit you see the stage being set for what could potentially be the year cloud came into its own. There will be many who believe that cloud broke a few years ago, but given the rate of change over the last year, the increased emphasis on cloud as the evolution of IT, and the explosion of cloud-related services and even false cloud products (hey, when people start faking something, you know its a big deal), 2012 really was the year for cloud.
Many of the road blocks — security, compliance, performance, and legacy applications — have both been addressed and remain, but are no longer unknonwns in a business-level conversation around moving to the cloud. In many ways the very nature of the cloud conversation has shifted from “why cloud” to “what kind of cloud works best for my business?”
This change carries with it a degree of nuance that will both spur the space towards greater innovation and variety, as well as provide those companies riding on coattails an opportunity to further obscure the lack of value they actually bring to client engagements.
But here are a few predictions we have going into 2013:
Private clouds won’t die: Many cloud pundits like to champion the public cloud, and while that may be an enterprise target in the broadest sense, public cloud is still years away from having the necessary tools and safety checks that companies with compliance requirements need.
Out-of-the-box solutions will proliferate, but only until a company realizes they’re no good: Tailoring cloud solutions will be the game in 2013, but most companies will still be buying the box solutions if they’re just beginning their cloud immersion. Your business isn’t the same as any other business, so why should the cloud you buy be the same as the cloud your competitor buys?
Cloud providers will be big in 2013: Because, really, why would you want to run all the different vendor relationships yourself? Also, MSPs will become the portals to the data center relationships businesses will want to leverage for broader strategic purposes.
Open source clouds will struggle: OpenStack (for example) will continue to lag in adoption behind AWS, Google, Microsoft and others in the mega public cloud race.
More CTOs and CIOs will be outward proponents for cloud services: As a merit badge or a check-and-pass-go necessity, more technical leaders and business heads will view the cloud as a reality of doing business rather than a service that may or may not be necessary, if only to stay current with their peers.
Hybrid will be the new private: Increasingly businesses will realize that cloud isn’t nearly as fun (or as beneficial) if they can’t simultaneously tap private AND public resources, or utilize dedicated internal and external resources, or achieve any of the other potential combinations that are encompassed by the term “hybrid” where cloud is concerned.
Over the next few days we will be premiering more thoughts looking ahead at 2013, but let us know your thoughts on the most interesting upcoming developments to the cloud on Twitter @CloudGathering.
By Jake Gardner