by December 23, 2013 0 comments

The growing knowledge, understanding and comfort levels among C-level executives regarding cloud computing will lead to even more substantial adoption rate increases in 2014 than experienced in the last few years. However, the hype surrounding cloud computing can actually hurt its adoption in the coming years. People are looking at cloud only for cost reduction. While this may be the benefit most of the times, it may not be the case always. People should also look at other benefits like agility, innovation and speed. When people start understanding the holistic picture and benefits, the adoption will significantly improve. In 2014, the following will be some of the key trends/opportunities in relation to cloud computing:

Hybrid clouds gain prominence
Through 2014, majority of I.T. adoption of the cloud will still continue to be to redeploy current applications on public cloud. However in later 2014, hybrid will emerge as the way moving forward for enterprise IT. Organizations get maximum control with the private cloud while they get maximum agility and scalability with the public cloud. Companies need to look at getting the best of both by extending private to public. Organizations need to think beyond today and realize the true power of cloud. Private cloud can be extended beyond the walls of the corporation to partners and customers which is needed now where collaboration is important, while public cloud services can be allocated to communities of users within enterprises. The objective should be to give businesses a choice of where and how they want to secure the right IT assets for the task at hand – the service may come from somewhere within the enterprise, or it may come from outside the enterprise.

Mobile enablement to push the drive to the Cloud
Mobile enablement of software applications and services will drive opportunities in cloud in 2014. In the next 3 years, there will be more number of people using smart phones as compared to PC’s. With services delivered through cloud acting as the backbone for most of the mobile applications, cloud will start penetrating across industries through mobile enablement of enterprise applications.

Big Data to form a massive distributed storage system
The art of big data is that it consolidates many types of data resources with different structures and data models, all in a massive, distributed storage system. Enterprises would need a very good backend infrastructure encompassing several servers to process distributed queries across multiple data sets and return result sets in record time. Building such an infrastructure on its own would be very costly and most enterprises would not afford to build one. However, with the emergence or cloud computing, things have been made easier. Cloud computing provides the underlying engine to help big data analytics, typically through the use of Hadoop. Because cloud based infrastructure can be rented as needed, big data has become more affordable for most enterprises. We will see a lot of experiments around this in 2014.

Industry Specific clouds become popular
This is another interesting trend I expected to emerge in late 2013, but has not done yet. I expect emergence of industry-specific or community clouds. For example, a cloud for Healthcare Industry that meets the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations around standards for health-related data protection and storage. Another example could be a telco cloud complying with FCC regulations. The strict compliance and regulatory standards in certain industries will drive such clouds into reality.

Pay-as-you go business models flourish
Enterprise adoption of pay-as-you-go model will pick up in 2014. Businesses will prefer purchasing services on demand rather than buying perpetual hardware and software along with separate maintenance contracts.

Cloud as the center of our digital lives
Most of us will start (if not already) to move our personal content to cloud – storing of photos on picassa, storing and sharing of documents on Google docs, dropbox, etc. are some examples of how we all will start adopting the cloud in an implicit manner.

Emerging markets to spend more on IT
Another driver of industry growth in 2014 will be emerging markets, where IT spending is growing at a faster rate than developed markets. We will see a lot of cloud adoption in emerging markets where enterprises look at not only reducing costs but also to improve agility, speed and innovation.

Emergence of human cloud capital
As Enterprises adopt cloud, they will need the services of specialist cloud consultants to help them achieve their business goals. A surge in demand for such specialist people is expected in 2014. However, currently, there is a human capital shortage in the cloud computing industry. This is a significant constraint in enterprise cloud adoption and innovation. Enterprises need cloud resources providing highly visible leadership and considerable IT skills. Given the tremendous business and commercial potential of cloud computing, enterprises will be more than willing to take on this challenge in 2014.

Cloud as the creator of jobs
There was a perception that cloud computing may turn to be a job-eliminator. However, as per the study conducted by IDC for Microsoft, Cloud computing is expected to create over 2 million jobs in India (and 14 million worldwide) by 2015. This includes cloud adoption as well as cloud innovation. So there is a huge potential for IT professionals in coming years. Adoption of cloud also faces internal resistance to change as it alters the makeup of IT organization. Despite challenges and concerns, CIOs are aware about opportunities and benefits of cloud computing and related business models. Cloud is the future and in spite of internal challenges, we will see more and more organisations adopting cloud.

Rise of Indian start-ups
Cloud computing and related business models will act as a leveller for Indian ISVs. Indian ISVs can now leverage cloud and offer their products as a service. There is a very low entry barrier to achieve this. Because of lower costs associated with SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), they can be competitive against well-established ISVs across the world.

Well-established ISV’s should look at quickly leveraging the cloud by adopting the cloud-hosted model which is not pure SaaS but which can help them offer their product as a service, on-demand and lower the implementation time and help them compete against the start-ups.

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