Over the last few years, cloud computing has become a major technology trend that has infused the market – and the continual monitoring of these trends, combined with regular updates to an enterprise's cloud strategy, will be essential to avoid costly mistakes or missed opportunities.
While there is significant opportunity for cloud computing, there are also factors that will not only require frequent review, but that also remain uncertain. Below, we outline the top five cloud computing sub-trends that will be accelerating, shifting or reaching a tipping point over the next few years, according to Gartner, Inc.:
Cloud Investment Optimization
There is a wide range of benefits that the cloud promises to offer, including:
• A shift from capital-intensive to operational cost models
• Lower overall cost
• Greater agility
• Reduced complexity
There are, however, a number of challenges that must be carefully examined as they have the potential to create a complex environment in which to evaluate individual cloud offerings. These types of issues include, a lack of transparency, security, the potential for vendor lock-in, performance and availability, integration needs and more.
Hybrid Cloud Computing is Imperative
As it currently stands, hybrid cloud computing is the coordination and combination of external cloud computing services, as well as the internal infrastructure or application of services. Over time, it is predicted that there will be a unified model in which a single "cloud" accounts for multiple cloud platforms – ultimately, bringing together the current aspects of hybrid cloud computing and allowing them to be used depending on the changing requirements of the business.
With this in mind, it is recommended that enterprises focus their near-term efforts on application and data integration, and link fixed internal and external applications with a hybrid solution.
Cloud Brokerage & Cloud Consumption
As more and more companies begin utilizing cloud-computing services, the need for consumption assistance will increase as well – and a cloud services brokerage (CSB) stands as a great option to consider. A CSB is a service provider that plays a transitional role in cloud computing, making it easier to consume cloud services without the need to involve IT.
With this trend steadily increasing, it is also believed that IT departments should start looking into how they can position themselves as CSBs to the enterprise. One way to achieve this is to begin modifying existing processes and tools such as internal portals and service catalogs.
Cloud-centric Design is Becoming Integral
While it is common for companies to seek out opportunities that allow them to migrate their existing enterprise workloads to a cloud system and/or application infrastructure in order to increase time and efficiency, the design aspect should not be overlooked. To fully take advantage of what a cloud model can offer, applications need to be designed with the cloud model’s unique characteristics and opportunities in mind – meaning it is advisable to look beyond just the migration of enterprise workloads.
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