2012 Prediction: Quest Software
Cloud = I&O
In 2012, the mysticism surrounding the latest buzz of cloud will evaporate, and it will become clear that “cloud” is really just the new wave of infrastructure and operations. Much like we acknowledge the differences in management of physical open systems and mainframes, people will realize that what we have been calling “cloud” really refers to the tools and processes for managing our latest environments. Don't get me wrong – there well may be a time in the future when developers begin shifting their paradigm for building applications; then, it may become possible to write to some seamless, ubiquitous cloud of computing power, but that change won't materialize in 2012. Some of the earliest PAAS platforms are getting close, but still have quite a way to go. I also think corporate IT’s skepticism around vendor usage of the term “cloud” will morph into cynicism. This new wave of I&O – the cloud wave – will have to deliver on the promise of operation expense reductions in 2012, or it will suffer major setbacks.
Brokering CIOs Will Gain Prominence
The CIO will leverage the service catalog and embrace it for the brokering tool it can be. Instead of continuing to allow silos of expertise to hold them hostage, CIOs will move more and more of their non-essential services to lower cost service providers. The IT organization has always existed to provide scale to the business. Increasingly, service providers, in turn, are getting much better at providing scale to IT. In 2012, however, we won't see the types of large scale outsourcing that we saw in the 90s and early 2000s. Instead, 2012 will see service provider engagement by CIOs targeted and focused, with more easily measured KPIs that tie back more precisely to their service catalogs. The challenge in 2012 will be the need to broker, because the lowest cost, highest quality service providers will win. This could result in interdependent SLAs across multiple providers and internal IT, driving up the need to effectively broker these relationships and translate impacts much faster than can be accomplished today.
Service Providers Will Drive KVM Into the Virtualization Conversation
Until now, VMware has been a clear leader in virtual machine adoption. The next closest contender, from a hypervisor standpoint, has been Microsoft, which is closing the parity gap fast. In 2012, I believe that KVM integration and adoption by service providers is going to change the tenor of this competition. To compete, service providers must find the cheapest and most cost-effective ways to deliver, and when free, or nearly free, options appear, they will jump on them. When that happens, we’ll see the rise of management tools that don't exist today, which will change the game for the enterprise in subsequent years, as well. (And, you’ll know the source of the laughter the next time users complain about pricing manipulation on their VMs or required tools – it will be the guys at Red Hat.)