As the year comes to an end, I must say that 2012 was a very eventful time for IT. Of the past 4 years, I’d probably say that the 2008-2009 worldwide economic crisis was the biggest external force which influenced IT decisions within recent years. I only mention this because the impending “fiscal cliff” may potentially have dramatic consequences for IT budgets.
But political factors aside, here are my technology predictions for the cloud computing space in 2013.
Traditionally, public and private clouds were managed as completely different processes or entities. And this added an extra layer of complexity to IT management. Cloud bursting helps merge these 2 worlds so that public clouds can help support and empower private clouds by adding cost-effective short-term capacity on an as-needed basis. If there’s a sudden spike in capacity requirements, part of this load can be temporarily moved to a public cloud to ensure seamless operations until internal resources once again become available.
Cloud Computing Will Become Mainstream
Because of the cost-savings, flexibility and convenience offered by the cloud computing model, cloud hosted systems will become a standard fixture within corporate datacenter architectures. You should expect to see IT budgets with specific allocations for cloud computing, and companies will be much more up-front about their adoption of cloud systems.
Virtualization and the growth of cloud computing – when combined with the growing popularity of Big Data and high-performance computing – will further increase the need for green computing practices. In particular, public cloud providers will struggle to meet ever-increasing energy consumption demands on local utilities and power infrastructure. This year, we’ve seen Google, Facebook and other companies move their datacenters to colder regions in order to help reduce cooling costs.
Big Data In The Cloud
Big data is one of the fastest-growing emerging technologies within the enterprise computing space. Access to data has never been more abundant thanks to M2M, third-party data sources, social media and other sources, companies see tremendous value in real-time analytics which can help them provide greater value to customers. But this kind of analysis requires powerful capabilities and new ways of thinking about data structures.
Cloud computing offers a number of advantages when it comes to making Big Data more accessible to businesses. And the cloud also offers many capabilities which would not be possible with on-premises Big Data projects.
There will be a severe shortage of qualified workers with the training and skills required for cloud-centered IT management. Additionally, thanks to Big Data, there is an exponentially growing demand for engineers with training in the data sciences. Due to the skills shortage, companies will most likely hire for cultural fit from related areas, and train employees in these skills after hire.
As we approach the “fiscal cliff”, businesses are urgently looking for ways to lower costs and minimize risks. When it comes to IT spending, the cloud’s on-demand purchasing model – combined with its capacity to eliminate up-front capital expenditures – presents some very attractive cost-savings opportunities. However, the perceived lack of control from moving to the cloud means that tighter controls will need to be put in place in order to avoid risks and remain compliant. This means that cloud governance will be a major talking point within the IT space in 2013.
Partly due to the value promised from Big Data, many smaller organizations will also begin to rely on high-power computing for engineering and problem-solving. Companies requiring supercomputers for tasks such as protein-folding can now easily rent resources on an as-needed basis instead of incurring hardware and infrastructure costs for an in-house datacenter.
The cloud offers some amazing capabilities for software developers. However, these investments also carry a risk in the event that applications developed in one cloud must be moved to another. Developers are now demanding more freedom of choice when it comes to building applications for deployment in the cloud, and this will require standardization within the industry. In 2012, we’ve seen many efforts to standardize cloud technologies and APIs in order to create more cloud-agnostic environments. And these new initiatives will play a major role in the growth of cloud adoption in 2013, as companies and developers look to keep their options open and avoid vendor lock-in.
Were there any emerging cloud computing trends that I’ve missed? Leave a comment below and let us know.