Although cloud services have been gaining momentum and garnering a lot of attention during the last several years, next year’s adoption strategies will be different. In 2013, enterprise executives will get real about cloud computing and finally understand what it takes to make effective strategic decisions, according to a blog report by Forrester Research analyst James Staten.
While there have been many early adopters of the cloud, the technology has primarily hidden in the shadows, largely because IT departments were still relatively unsure whether the hosted solutions would truly deliver any benefits. Next year, however, IT executives will no longer deny the existence of the cloud, Staten noted, as 2013 will be a shining year for when the cloud truly takes off.
No more mindless deployments
In the coming year, decision-makers will be smarter about implementing cloud services. The once common thought of “everything will move to the cloud” will no longer encourage executives to blindly launch cloud computing projects without planning ahead, Staten said. As a whole, the private sector now has enough knowledge of the cloud to recognize the subtle differences between varying virtual architectures, enabling managers to make sound decisions toward launching an effective strategy.
Cloud computing is not a commodity
As cloud technologies flourished within the private sector, an idea emerged that said the services were a commodity. This is not the case.
While many cloud services are highly standardized and automated, this does not mean they are a commodity, Staten noted. A number of solutions are backed by high-end hardware and other infrastructure offerings that provide a specific competitive advantage over similar products. For this reason, among others, the market for cloud computing will be diverse and complex, requiring some organizations to leverage one model while rival firms use another.
Cloud backup and disaster recovery get real
Most enterprises today buy resources in case a disaster strikes. By using the cloud and its pay-per-use pricing model, however, decision-makers can pay for long-term storage environments but only spend money when the cloud servers are being tested, deployed or used, Staten noted. This will result in significant cost savings and enhance a firm’s ability to keep mission-critical information and applications protected during an emergency.
A separate InformationWeek report also highlighted the growing potential for cloud-based disaster recovery programs. Many traditional disaster recovery initiatives are expensive and take a long time to deploy, putting them out of reach of many small firms that have fewer exhaustible resources. The cloud, on the other hand, is more cost effective and is available to companies of all sizes.
SLA hype gets turned down a notch
While service-level agreements (SLAs) are an important part of any technological deployment, the general consensus that the documents are needed for the cloud to be secure will no longer exist in 2013, Staten asserted. IT executives will begin to acknowledge the fact that cloud applications need to protect themselves. As a result, sensitive solutions will be constructed with more resiliency, while other non-essential tools won’t be bound by SLAs.
There is no longer any doubt that cloud computing services will flourish in 2013 and beyond, especially as today’s macroeconomic crisis carries on unabated. If businesses want to remain competitive, boost efficiency and keep costs down, the cloud can be the answer. Still, executives will need to overcome the hype and recognize the technology for what it truly is, enabling the right decisions to be made at the right time.