This is the time of the year where we look back at the past year and examine what happened and try to identify trends. We undergo this annual ritual with the hope of gaining a glimpse into the future. So, before I share my own predictions, let me share with you some of the ones I’ve read:
- Forbes just released 7 predictions for cloud computing in 2013 that make perfect sense
- Cloudability says the top predictions for cloud in 2013 …. Cost modeling
- IDC predicts that cloud will account for 10% of all IT spending by 2013
- Forrester says we’re finally getting real with cloud in 2013
- ComputerWorld UK has 10 Cloud Predictions, highlighting hybrid cloud
- Saugatuck looks at 10 emergent trends and planning positions for the 2013 boundary-free enterprise
- Steve Wozniak shares his predictions
- And finally David Linthicum highlights two cloud warnings
Each of these predictions sheds its own light on cloud. And despite what David Linthicum says, most are not highly optimistic vendor blogs. Let me share with you where I see cloud at the moment. And, don’t worry; it will be factual and down to earth. But before pointing to my list of 10, let me tell you the cloud market size will continue grow in 2013 as the cloud matures. Frankly we all know that, so I don’t consider this a prediction.
1. Cloud Computing has finally passed the hype stage
For years, cloud computing has stayed at the “peak of inflated expectations” on the Gartner Hype Curve. In 2012 it finally passed into the “Trough of Disillusionment”, although private and hybrid cloud are still located in the hype. Cloud is maturing quickly now, which is a good thing. I feel it maturing as client discussions move from educational presentations to factual conversations about benefits, issues, concerns and how to address them. I’ve seen things changing over the last quarter and expect this to only increase in speed during 2013
2. Focus is moving from IaaS to PaaS and DevOps
For several years the discussions, particularly with IT, have centered on the provisioning of infrastructure. That is quickly changing. Two key concepts are taking center stage:
- First, Platform as a Service and the willingness to use higher abstraction levels. What most companies don’t understand yet is that this is fundamentally a game changer. For the IT department, IaaS is business as usual (provide virtual servers rather than physical). PaaS forces a more holistic view on the underlying infrastructure and software.
- Second, DevOps, links development and operations in a way they have never been associated. Here again it forces collaboration and mutual understanding. But the benefits are enormous in the sense they make the enterprise much more agile.
3. Leading CIOs will start transforming IT
With the above in mind, leading CIOs are starting to transform their IT department. They are moving away from existing as an organization that is siloed around technologies to one focused on procuring external services and a service delivery supply chain for the services developed internally. They also establish service governance with the business. In 2013 more companies will go that route as cloud touches every part of our business.
4. Hybrid Delivery becomes the norm
As larger enterprises move from an infrastructure to a services focus, the sourcing of external services will become the norm. But at the same time, enterprises are looking to maintain some functionality internally by building a private cloud. The result is a move to hybrid cloud—we saw the start of this in 2012. However, the traditional environment is not going away any time soon. Companies are still looking to increase IT environments ease of access for business users. This results in the increased use of mobile access devices and the integration of the traditional and cloud worlds. We call that hybrid delivery.
5. CFOs and CEOs are increasingly part of cloud decisions
A Cap Gemini survey found out that Cloud decisions are being made more and more by business managers (45 percent) rather than, or as well as, by IT (46 percent). Businesses are becoming increasingly digital and enterprises are relying on IT for increased flexibility and responsiveness. These changes are forceing business managers—starting with the CFO and then the CEO—to be increasingly involved in cloud related decisions.
6. Public Cloud is at a turning point
On the one hand, public IaaS is increasingly becoming competitive. It’s turning into a commodity and the number of players is increasing. Today Amazon has a 70 percent market share, but that is destined to change. Large companies will take on Amazon head to head, driving prices down, while smaller players will go for niche markets. On the other, cloud brokers will appear. The value proposition of those companies will be to link enterprises (mainly smaller ones) to a variety of cloud services (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) from a single platform. This facilitates access, billing, SLA management and others. They will be to cloud service providers—what the channel is to IT vendors.
7. Standards are taking center stage
The speed at which OpenStack makes inroads is phenomenal, but it is not the only standard around. OpenFlow is another one to watch. In a hybrid delivery world, standards are critical to ensure the easy migration of workloads. Adoption of these standards will only increase in 2013.
8. There will be more public cloud outages… and they will be highly visible
We have had our fair share of public cloud outages in 2012. And 2013 will not be any different. Cloud environments are extremely complex and something is doomed to go wrong. As the consumption of PaaS and SaaS services increases, a proper assessment of the service supply chain becomes important. Unfortunately, public cloud’s lack of transparency makes it difficult to properly evaluate the potential risks. There will be increased pressure on the public cloud providers to provide more transparency as outages continue. Also, larger enterprises are looking for support capabilities beyond twitter messages. There will be more variety in public cloud support services.
9. Security and Compliance will remain a hot topic
Both topics will remain at the top of the list of CIO concerns. At the same time, business people will continue consuming cloud services without paying attention to the issues— potentially putting the enterprise at risk. Breaches will continue, but users should be better informed because legislation is on the way. The EU has taken an important initiative to harmonize legislation and is working with the US on the subject. Industry is involved in the discussions. This is a positive trend. Unfortunately, knowing how politics work, we will only see results in the second part of this decade. So, CIOs will require a continued focus on the security and compliance topic.
10.BYOD, IT counter-attacks
BYOD is a headache for many CIOs and IT departments. Securing enterprise applications and data on such devices is difficult and IT departments do not have experience with Android and iOS. Windows 8 is a big relief to them—it is a known entity. We could see IT departments pushing Windows-8 based devices to their users instead of allowing them choice. It will be interesting to see how this battle pans out. Users will continue wanting to mix their business and private life on the same device. Will they accept windows 8 as THE operating system of their mobile life? That will mainly depend on the availability of mobile applications. It will definitely be a battle to watch in 2013.
As cloud matures, the term “cloud” itself will take a back-seat. Instead it will simply become the way we consume information technology. It will just become computing. Big Data and cloud will increasingly be found in the same sentence as enterprises rely on social media analytics to understand the market trends and their customer base.
Looking at this year shows us that there are plenty of exciting things moving forward. What do you think? Did I miss any major elements? Let me know what is on your mind in the comments section below.
To close this blog entry, let me wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2013 bring you a lot of satisfaction and allow you to make your wildest dreams real.