2014 is going to be a big year in the cloud.
It’s seems like a traditional thing to do this time of year, provide deep predictions around the continued evolution of the cloud computing industry. So, let’s take a shot at that, perhaps even say a few interesting and new things.
2014 is actually very easy to predict. It’s a matter of understanding the current cloud computing trends that existed in 2013, and grow those into 2014. If we’re going to name a few, I think they should include:
- Growth of industry-specific cloud services.
- Growth of cloud management and governance.
- More focus on the hard things in cloud computing, such as performance and security.
- More application migration—most are poorly done.
That’s pretty much my top 4 right now. Let’s break them down.
Growth of industry-specific cloud services refers to the fact that many cloud providers are moving to support vertical markets, such as healthcare, retail, and finance. The idea is to provide pre-built industry-specific processes and data management capabilities in a public cloud that will allow those who leverage these services to move much faster than when using general-purpose cloud computing services.
In 2014, we’ll see a continued interest in this space as more companies move to cloud and look for clouds that already understand their business. You can count on a sharp increase in demand toward the end of 2014, as both the healthcare and finance verticals find more dollars in their budgets.
Growth of cloud management and governance, including the continued rise of cloud management platforms (CMPs) will be a huge trend in 2014. While those enterprises that deploy a single cloud found management of that architecture difficult, most enterprises deploy complex cloud environments made up of many different brands and models of clouds. There is a clear requirement to manage those environments using a single-pane-of-glass, which is what CMP tools provide.
More focus on the hard things in cloud computing, such as performance and security, meaning that many enterprises will understand in 2014 that their approach to both issues comes up short.
Infrastructure security is an issue because many enterprises tried to push their traditional approach into the cloud, and found that existing security processes, procedures, and technology don’t address the complex distributed nature of the cloud. What’s needed are more federated approaches, which will find their way into most enterprises, if they’re not there already.
Performance will follow the same pattern in 2014. Enterprises understand that they are not good at deploying well-performing cloud-based systems, and seek new approaches and tools. Most performance issues are caused by bad architecture or application designs, not the limitations of the cloud platforms. Enterprises don’t consider the distributed nature of cloud-based systems, or how to effectively take advantage of cloud-native features.
More application migration—most are poorly done, refers to the fact that enterprises will migrate applications to cloud-based platforms without considering the underlying design and architecture (there seems to be a pattern here). Thus, most will attempt more of a lift-and-shift kind of approach, and most will end up with applications that just exist in the cloud, but don’t take advantage of being in the cloud.
Most applications will have to undergo a redesign and redeployment at some point. Thus, you might as well get it right the first time.
No matter how you look at it, this will be a busy year in the cloud. I’m ready. Are you?
By David Linthicum