A recent RightScale survey entitled “Cloud Computing Trends: 2014 State of the Cloud” has indicated that this hugely significant technology has a very bright immediate future indeed. Among the critical figures which came out of this report were the following:
The figures recorded by enterprise and small business within this report are extremely encouraging for the cloud. Two clear conclusions can be drawn from the statistics compiled in this report. Firstly, doubts about the cloud, its security and effectiveness are clearly diminishing rapidly. Secondly, the cloud has been delivering on the promises of increased computing power that cloud providers have stated would come to fruition for some time, and companies now have rightly heightened expectations about what can be delivered by the cloud in the near future.
While the cloud is undoubtedly growing, further growth in the future will be dictated by the following five trends.
The cloud will be a major catalyst of the next big discovery in computing. As more companies put this technology at the centre of their operations, and it delivers increased computing power, it is inevitable that the most innovative companies will utilise the cloud in order to make major discoveries. Disruptive technologies such as Big Data, Predictive Analytics, hybrid and mobile cloud will combine to create an incredibly fertile environment for new products and services.
The hybrid cloud was already a big deal in 2014, but the next 12 months will see this technology grow further still. Gartner has already predicted that 50 percent of large enterprises will adopt the Hybrid Cloud by 2017, and this process will begin in earnest in 2015.
As organisations attempt to find the ideal balance between the qualities of the public and private cloud, hybrid cloud will be an ideal solution for many. Hybrid cloud technology will be particularly popular with SMEs, and this technology enables sensitive data to be kept in-house while still benefiting from the cost and scalability benefits of the public cloud.
There has been a certain reluctance for companies to switch to the cloud, which is perhaps not surprising for such a revolutionary and disruptive new technology. But the results that it is delivering now mean that the hesitance and concerns that many companies have regarding the cloud are beginning to dissipate.
IT departments in particular were not quick to trust this technology, particularly with regard to security concerns. There has also been a reluctance to relearn skill sets within the industry, and there were fears that the technology could have an impending irrelevance if businesses failed to adopt cloud on a widespread basis.
We now know that most of these fears were completely baseless, so there really is no barrier for companies moving to the cloud in the near future. This process has already begun, and will accelerate in 2015.
Price is of course always a major focus in any industry, and cloud computing has been no exception to this rule. There have been major price battles fought by the largest cloud service providers, but in the near future this whole dynamic is about to change.
Customers are now sold on the benefits of the cloud, and therefore price is not quite as big factor as it was previously. Cloud consumers will now start to demand better features, services and functionality from cloud service providers, and this will become a major emphasis in 2015.
Already major cloud providers are attempting to stand out from the crowd by emphasising the quality of their feature sets; this is already a significant shift in the industry.
Finally, managed services will really begin to take off in 2015. As companies are moving collections of services to the cloud, so they will need to be managed. This is about to become a huge growth area, where managed service providers will increasingly be looking to a vast and growing cloud market in order to do business. A company like Rackspace has already exited the IaaS market and is betting big on managed Cloud; this will merely be the first of many companies to make such a shift in focus.
So all of the evidence and all of the trends for 2015 point towards the cloud becoming even more significant than it is already. We have expected this technology to become central to the computing landscaper for sometime, now that occurrence is finally coming home to roost.