Clear Skies Ahead: A Dive Into 2013 Cloud Trends - Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: Embotics Corporation

Colin Jack (Profile)
Friday, January 11th 2013

More than half a century ago, one of the first scientists at IBM made an insightful prediction about the future of computing. Herb Grosch said that one day, the whole world would rely on terminals powered by about a dozen data centers. That doesn’t quite describe the cloud computing landscape we see today, but Grosch was pretty close to the mark. It’s hard to imagine where computing will be in another 50 years, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest what we should expect in the near future. The coming year will be a good one for cloud computing, especially for companies that shake off the effects of cloud fatigue to extract real value from their existing infrastructures and new investments.

A sense of fatigue has crept over the industry during the past few years as vendors and marketing teams have stuck the word “cloud” onto almost every product and service. The hype has made it difficult for users to determine what a product or service actually does and if they can count on lofty promises from vendors. But IT cannot succumb to cloud fatigue; the potential payoff of IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) is too great.

There are clear skies ahead for companies that frankly evaluate their cloud readiness and private cloud management capabilities and make decisions that move their IT organizations forward. IT leaders should start by determining how mature their departments are in terms of delivering cloud-based applications and private cloud management services. At this point, operating systems (OS) and virtual machines (VM) have become commodities; the application is king, and the hypervisor is its strategic enabler.

In 2013, applications will continue to drive infrastructure evolution and the adoption of new platforms. We’ll see more data center management strategies that focus on deploying and managing VMs, and business units will demand more and more specialty applications that IT will have to deliver.  To meet that demand, IT leaders must evaluate internal resources such as traditional data centers and private clouds, as well as external resources like software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers and hybrid or public cloud offerings.

The coming year will also be a tipping point for multi-hypervisor strategies. Companies will have the financial incentive of expiring VMware enterprise license agreements, as well as the availability of viable alternatives such as Microsoft Hyper-V, Linux Kernel-based virtual machines and Citrix. This multi-hypervisor scenario will come as private cloud adoption accelerates.

In a recent research report published by Information Week, 67 percent of organizations surveyed said they are using or considering private clouds, while 73 percent report that their data center demands will increase over last year. Businesses like those surveyed will deploy private clouds to deliver IT services to end users in a highly automated and optimized manner. As private cloud usage increases, delivery times for provisioning services will fall – from days to mere hours – while integrated cost models will lay the foundation for curbing consumption and comparison shopping. Concerns about security, latency and regulation won’t disappear in 2013, but the benefits of self-service provisioning, automation of routine tasks and better stewardship over resources will be compelling enough to move private cloud adoption forward.