2013: Clouds with Sunshine Breaking Through - Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: Cloud Technology Partners
Will the predicted Cloud Computing revolution finally arrive? Has Platform as a Service (PaaS) finally matured enough to be widely adopted? These and other burning questions are part of Cloud Technology Partners’ 2013 tech future predictions.
Cloud Management Tools
If nothing else happens, this is going to be the biggest growth area in 2013. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been held back because of the lack of good tools and the kind of comprehensive tools suites that are needed to support the enterprise. The coming tools will be at all levels of the cloud stack, infrastructure, platform and, of course, applications. At the infrastructure level, expect to see more comprehensive suites that roll brokering, orchestration and image lifecycle management into one framework. This will simplify the development to production process by providing more automation and self-service tools than ever. Everyone wins as developers get the resources they need instantly without having to wait for IT, business can respond faster to demand for new applications and IT doesn’t get blamed for holding up the queue.
PaaS as a concept for delivering development tool suites is compelling. Companies are looking for comprehensive suites that don’t require huge amounts of integration, resources and time to set them up. The new VMware offerings are designed for enterprises that need to have a full suite of tools to support the SDLC end to end, but do not have the resources (or the desire) to be bogged down in messy tools configuration projects.
With $14.5 billion in SaaS sales (an increase of 17.9% from 2011), lots of providers are getting it right. The biggest news is the boom in enterprise SaaS application adoption. Salesforce of course has long been a big player in this space, but the Workday’s spectacular IPO in October indicates a bright future. Look for lots of interest in Microsoft cloud products such as Office 365 and Azure as companies realize that these are cheaper and more flexible alternatives to traditional desktop tools. The rapid adoption of mobile devices in the workplace and its demand for more business customized apps is only going to accelerate this trend.
Cloud Hardware Architectures
Over the last year or so, several vendors including VCE, the uneasy coalition of EMC, Cisco and VMware, Dell, and NetApp, have announced prepackaged cloud hardware stacks. On the surface the idea is appealing to enterprise IT infrastructure teams unprepared for the cloud revolution. However, as companies quickly found out, there is a big difference between dropping in a rack of hardware and building a productive enterprise cloud infrastructure. Since a primary cloud objective is hardware and software abstraction, more vendors will be developing infrastructure architectures tolerant of commodity hardware and supportive of transparent upgrades.