As cloud computing continues its swift transition from slightly nebulous industry catchphrase to real-world business-critical solution, we are getting a clearer picture of who cloud customers are and what is driving them into the cloud. Here are five major trends in today’s emerging cloud landscape.
SMBs and micro-businesses as major adopters of cloud computing technology. The basic value proposition of the cloud means that the SMB and micro-business will continue to be at the forefront of cloud adoption. Cloud computing offers cost savings and an attractive pay-as-you-go model that allows SMBs and micro-businesses to establish an affordable and competitive IT infrastructure. Scalability, of course, is another chief benefit, allowing SMB and micro-business to remain responsive and viable in a soft economy.
Customers dealing with complex supply chains, reorganisation, rich digital content, or no legacy systems will emerge as major cloud adopters.
The first wave of cloud computing customers will include organisations with complex supply-chain management systems who stand to benefit from the reduced costs and improved efficiencies of cloud computing. Businesses seeking to reorganise or optimise their business operations in order to become more efficient and stay competitive will also move towards the cloud. Cloud computing is also expected to draw more firms dealing in rich, digital imagery who are seeking efficient and scalable means for storing and delivering rich digital content. Finally, start-ups with no legacy systems in place are also expected to become a strong segment of the cloud customer base.
Demand for on-the-go access will continue to drive cloud adoption.
The demand for anytime, on-the-go accessibility will be a major force in shaping cloud computing. The ubiquity of powerful mobile devices and cheap bandwidth, coupled with today’s dynamic business environment, means that the demand for accessibility will continue to drive cloud adoption. The perception is that organisations and customers are willing to trade off concerns about the cloud in exchange for 24/7 access, which means accessibility will continue to be a key driving force in cloud computing.
The rise of the hybrid cloud model.
As customers continue to debate the security risks of cloud computing, new cloud models will emerge to address these concerns and adapt to customer needs. Hybrid models will allow organisations to move part of their data into the public cloud, while keeping other IT-resources on-site or in a private cloud. New hybrid offerings will allow customers to combine dedicated hosting, public cloud, and private cloud to realise new and customised solutions. An example of the hybrid cloud model is Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud, which allows organisations to connect their IT infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services cloud via a private network channel. The decision making process for a selecting a hybrid cloud solution is explored in a white paper here
Growth of the "stack-as-a-service” delivery model.
Cloud computing currently offers three basic delivery models: Iaas, PaaS, and Saas. Experts expect to see greater consolidation of cloud delivery models, especially as providers fill critical gaps in today’s cloud offerings. The demand for unified "stack-as-a-service” delivery models is expected to grow as more customers seek to build and deploy applications. This also means greater consolidation of cloud providers to achieve economies of scale in centralised data and services.