7 Key Tech that will Influence Cloud Strategies in Future

by March 17, 2016 0 comments

–  Shailendra Ravi, Senior Director, Emerging Markets, EMC India Center of Excellence

Information technology is evolving at a fast pace. To stay relevant and to survive the tough competition, companies are constantly adopting innovative business models and exciting ways to reach the new market and target audience. Cloud computing, also called “the third wave of information technology”, has significantly facilitated the way people do business. In simple words, cloud computing can be defined as the practice of storing data and running software over the Internet. Commercially, it allows enterprises to avoid upfront infrastructure costs and focus on their core business. Cloud computing has been and continues to be an important component of modern IT infrastructure due to the benefits its offers – flexibility, on-demand, cost effective and dynamically scalable computing infrastructure for many applications. It also has the benefits of both mainframe and distributed computing. Cloud computing offers the central management and coordination of mainframe computing with the affordability and scalability of distributed computing. It is therefore an ideal solution for both large and small companies. It also presents a significant technology trends, and it is already obvious that it is reforming information technology processes and the IT industry.
Cloud Computing is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world
Corporate and government entities utilize cloud computing services to address a variety of application and infrastructure needs such as CRM, database, compute, and data storage. According to findings from research firm IDC, small businesses using cloud computing are 1.7 times more likely to have over 10 percent revenue growth compared to similar sized companies in general. Globally the adoption rate of cloud computing is notably high and India leads with 32 percent growth in cloud adoption rates in 2014. Due to the aforesaid benefits, the adoption of cloud surged surpassing those of other emerging IT services including Big Data and Enterprise Mobility that stood at 16 percent and 12 percent respectively. The widespread adoption of cloud computing is expected to have a transformative effect on small as well as big businesses, and also on large companies and government organizations.
The increasing emphasis on ‘Digital India’ and various initiatives by the Indian government to promote Internet of Things/ Everything, are leading to rapid innovation and business opportunity. Most enterprises are looking for services that will help them to reduce cost, enhance security, reduce risk and increase agility. These can be achieved through poised use of public, private and hybrid clouds that will benefit the companies. But with the ever changing cloud computing trends and the direct impact it has on business, it is important for organizations to constantly monitor the changes and adopt the new strategies to continue their business successfully.

Following are the key trends that will shape-up cloud strategies:
Hybrid Cloud: Cloud is a reality in India today, and companies are increasingly exploring the adoption of hybrid cloud. EMC Survey shows 31% of Indian IT decision makers have created hybrid cloud. We’ll see the continued fall of the private cloud-only implementation. Publics will be paired with private clouds to form hybrid or multiclouds, which provide enterprises with more cost efficiency and scalability. The number of enterprises employing only private clouds will fall substantially in the next few years. Hybrid Cloud adoption will bring about best way of optimizing costs, bringing the efficiencies in the IT organization through self-service & automation and delivering service with the highest elasticity, agility and, offering the economical transparency for its end users. It brings the best of private and public clouds together, minus the disadvantages. The technology is therefore relevant and useful across sectors and market segments.
Software Driven and Open Sourced: An important criterion of reassurance is the development of open cloud APIs and standards that allow for the portability and control of data and cloud-deployed applications, providing business with the necessary flexibility to tailor solutions to their short and long-term goals.
Open APIs and standards help create an open market and foster innovation and differentiation within the cloud space. The ability of companies to assess individual vendors on merits like availability and performance gives them the flexibility they need to be confident of cloud investment. The opening of the cloud also enables the development of federated cloud environments. Companies can select from the available vendors to build interoperable multi-cloud environments, choosing the components that are customized to suit their requirements.
Software-Defined Cloud Computing is an approach for automating the process of optimal cloud configuration by extending virtualization concept to all resources in a data center. It enables easy reconfiguration and adaptation of physical resources in a cloud infrastructure, to better accommodate the demand on QoS through software that can describe and manage various aspects comprising the cloud environment that can automatically deliver and manage all of your enterprise applications, no matter where they reside, from one, unified platform.
Cloud and DevOps empower both users and developers: Cloud agility would also allow for Dev/Test and production environments to be treated similarly, thus reducing the speed and deployment time of traditional application development. The silos today separating the labs from production environments could be transformed into mere logical boundaries that could be crossed with fewer errors and delays; software would be developed and tested in environments virtually identical to production. With the rise of DevOps for automating application development and deployment to the cloud, both users and developers could benefit
Cloud marketplaces: Provides customers with access to software applications and services that are built on, integrate with or complement the cloud provider’s offerings. A marketplace typically provides customers with native cloud applications and approved apps created by third-party developers. Applications from third-party developers not only help the cloud provider fill niche gaps in its portfolio and meet the needs of more customers, but they also provide the customer with peace of mind by knowing that all purchases from the vendor’s marketplace will integrate with each other smoothly.
They empower applications to orchestrate custom-made conglomerations of cloud compute, storage, and networking infrastructure strengthens the position of cloud vendors when companies are balancing the benefits of cloud deployments and traditional colocation or in-house infrastructure provisioning. Cloud marketplaces augment the existing benefits of the cloud – on-demand pricing that lowers capital expenditure, fast deployments that allow businesses to remain agile, reactive scaling both up and down, and flexible APIs that allow for the automation of infrastructure orchestration. The cloud marketplace layer enhances the value of the cloud by providing centralized control for an increasingly differentiated set of vendors.
“Single Pane of Glass” – Unified Monitoring: An era in which enterprises distribute increasingly critical IT assets and applications across multiple environments is being ushered in. These changes are rendering legacy monitoring tools virtually useless. In today’s emerging environments, monitoring and service level management grow both more challenging— and more critical to success.
In order to affordably and effectively address today’s monitoring challenges, organizations need a monitoring solution architecture that not only scales but has the ability to monitor the legacy and the new environments. It should not only have the ability to monitor both on premise and off-premise environments, but should bring with it the resiliency to monitor both component and communication failures. Last, but not the least, it must be easy to deploy.
Cloud operating models – Beyond cost reduction to structural change: Cloud-enabled services are the next wave transforming how businesses capitalize on information technology, and that in turn drives the next evolution in the processes, roles, skills, and structure of IT organizations—the evolution to IT as a Service (ITaaS). Today’s CIOs must exercise extraordinary leadership to make the transition and unleash new business value.
What corporations don’t have yet or are in the process of developing, are the skills, organizational structure, and processes to realize this promise. Technology always advances faster than the ability of businesses to adopt it and use it in new ways. The new IT organization will center on the processes and the skills associated with the services like:
Service Management
Provider management—Information management
Architecture
Business innovation
Business enablement
Above all a robust IT governance enables the migration to cloud-based services to proceed purposefully, enables IT to do its new work with excellence, and allows the business to maximize the value of its information and technology assets.
The future of cloud computing
Machine learning systems were too costly and too complex for most enterprises in the past. The cloud is changing all that. The trend today is machine learning, which is a form of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to learn from data. These systems build models from incoming transactional data, and then find patterns in that data to make predictions. These predictions can be as simple as providing a recommendation to a retail shopper on an e-commerce website or as complex as determining if a brand of automobile should be retired.
Startups are leveraging new and emerging cloud technology, such as containers, as a path for incremental growth to scale up and scale down based on the needs of the application be it in the areas of Storage, data analytics services, Internet of things (IoT) etc…
“Internet of things” or “Internet of People and Things”: It is predicted that by 2020, an estimated 50 billion devices around the globe will be connected to the Internet. Perhaps a third of them will be computers, smartphones, tablets, and TVs. The remaining two-thirds will be other kinds of “things”: sensors, actuators, and newly invented intelligent devices that monitor, control, analyze, and optimize our world.
Internet of things or internet of people and things allow enable bidirectional interactions not only between people and things but between things. Consider the range of interconnected systems, products, and services the IoT will enable, from simple monitoring of home temperature and security to the “quantified self” Viz., the tracking of personal health, diet, and exercise metrics etc…, to fully networked factories and hospitals, to automated cities aka “Smart Cities” that respond to the movements and interests of thousands of people at once. One of the key enabler to this opportunity will be operating through a federated cloud and business data lakes.
These new trends are redefining the way enterprises do business. It is now understood that Cloud computing is expected to help in economic advantages, speed, agility, flexibility, infinite elasticity and innovation. The developments in this space will increase efficiency and productivity while unearthing new opportunities for organizations.
The question most of the enterprises will have to answer is how to build value in this new world? That will depend on the type of business that enterprises operate in, the capabilities that enterprises can develop for tomorrow, and, most of all, enterprises ability to understand the meaning of this new technology and its application in this new continuum.

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