Cloud technology made great strides at the enterprise level in 2013. As more companies embraced cloud and integrated it into their natural IT operations, more tier one IT companies ramped up their cloud offerings – Verizon included. As we look ahead to this year, I expect the momentum to pick up driven by things like the consumerization of IT, Software-Defined Everything (SDE), big data analytics, IT decentralization and the continued interconnection of secure cloud platforms.
We will examine each of these trends below – some are new and some are evolutions of previous industry developments. Each will impact how enterprises embrace cloud in 2014 and beyond.
- As individuals continue to have access to all kinds of high-performing technology, the consumerization of IT will force enterprises to think about their IT policies. Enterprises will continue to see growing pressure and expectation to provide business tools that are equal to or better than what individuals can get on their own from their service provider or manufacturer. The cloud will have an amplifying effect of having resources on-demand, where, when and how you want them.
- The shift in hardware to software that has occurred in consumer technology will expand into information technology in 2014. This trend started years ago as virtualization, and SDE is the evolution of that trend. As more and more employees work in virtual environments, software-defined networking, as well as software-defined storage comes to fruition. Cloud providers will need to partner with leading technology organizations to deliver the capabilities they are known for as software appliances. Advantages of these software appliances are numerous including, the ability to deploy globally, change the availability model and potentially change business models around the software.
- The power of big data analytics – during 2013, enterprises have realized the true power of real-time analytics, including the ability to take information from all aspects of a business and global environments, mine the data and change business outcomes. Now that the tools are in place, we will see a big data analytics revolution that is only limited by people’s imagination. The cloud is also bringing the necessary infrastructure and resources needed to run analytics and share data – bringing these ideas to life.
- As enterprises do more in public cloud environments, including running more critical and larger applications, we expect to see adoption continue and accelerate through 2014. In order for enterprises to embrace this continuing trend, IT leaders are realizing that there are two components that are essential to an IT organization’s success: operations and innovation. In 2014, we will see IT managing and balancing these two components more effectively, enabling them to respond to the changing needs of the business.
- The cloud and related technologies make it possible to do security in different ways. For example, it allows isolated environments to better track threats, detect intrusions and run-time validation. Today, all of these can be done in the cloud differently by analyzing trends, looking for anomalies and developing new techniques to attack problems.