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Twelve cloud predictions for 2012

Alistair Croll, conference chair, Cloud Connect and principal analyst, Bitcurrent offers his predictions for cloud computing developments during 2012:

  • The move to platforms: IT will need to deliver platforms, not machines. The best IT teams will be those that embrace private and public platforms as a service and worry about real issues such as lock-in, usage costs and compliance.
  • The move out to public clouds: there will be a resurgence in public cloud adoption this year, albeit with a savvier approach compared to years past.
  • The advent of ‘big data’: the rise of large, unstructured datasets, along with the tools to crunch and interact with them, is poised to change every facet of how organizations make decisions.
  • Spikiness: today's code has to be specially engineered to take advantage of a cloud and it's only a matter of time before compilers get an ‘optimize for cloud’ checkbox. The code generated will be smart enough to grab all available computing. That means new planning tools to measure and constrain these newly elastic applications will become available and we'll see the emergence of management tools that consider user experience and provider cost.
  • Consumer expectations come back to roost: public clouds and technology ‘upstarts’ are shaping IT expectations for end users, executives and shareholders. IT will have to satisfy a significant number of these expectations in 2012, or plan to answer to its stakeholders.
  • One messy leak: there will be at least one spectacularly messy breach of data, and the cloud will get the blame. As a result, regulators will spring into action, enforcing two-factor authentication and password generation and refreshing policies.
  • Disaster recovery and scaling are the new drivers: disaster recovery and elastic scaling will replace cost savings and convenience as the big reasons for enterprises to adopt the cloud.
  • An SLA detente: the realization that providers have been trying to tell us something: a company can have any service level agreement it wants, as long as it architects it correctly from well-understood component services and finds a way to turn risk into economic value.
  • The rise of real brokerages: managing cloud offerings will soon turn enterprise IT professionals into procurement officers and contract negotiators, handling myriad terms and conditions, payment schemes, and disputes. In a market with many buyers and sellers, brokerages inevitably emerge and will simplify and standardize transactions.
  • Virtual machines and real hardware: when more and more machines are virtual, real bare-metal hardware is precious. Only hardware can be trusted, whether that's for cryptography, security, or physical location. Ironically, the hardware-free aspect of clouds may give hardware new life.
  • What can't I put in the cloud?: in 2012, there will be a real comparison of on- and off-cloud solutions, and for many businesses, the real question will be what can't be better done in a cloud.
  • Infrastructure, code, and data are intertwined: writing code, storing data and managing infrastructure will soon be one and the same.

Each of these trends and predictions will be covered in-depth at Cloud Connect Santa Clara, which will feature over 60 breakout sessions across key technology themes. For more information visit: http://www.cloudconnectevent.com/santaclara

•Date: 13th January 2012 • US/World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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