Prediction 2010: Enterprise Clouds – A Viewpoint from Surgient
Contributed article by Tim Lucas, CEO Surgient
It's certainly not news that it's been a tough year for IT. We've seen the impact of the economic downturn result in workforce reductions, locked down IT budgets, and a widespread wariness of investing in new technologies until, "things get a little better." With all the focus on the negative, it's easy to overlook two critical developments resulting from the challenges faced in 2009:
1.) A realization that a strong alignment between IT and the business is critical for mutual success.
2.) The intense focus on increasing productivity (with a decreased budget) has accelerated the introduction of powerful new computing infrastructure models, including the enterprise cloud.
Despite the tightening of purse strings, forward-looking IT organizations continue to invest in business-critical technology innovations, establishing unique competitive advantages through productivity gains and cost savings that will drive their leadership beyond the recession. In an effort to quickly address the demands of their business constituents and optimize utilization of existing infrastructure, IT managers are beginning to transform their static data center architectures to more dynamic, highly responsive systems. However, this is not an overnight transformation-we believe that enterprise cloud computing is a major paradigm shift towards a highly productive, dynamic data center which can offer compute resources on-demand in a comprehensive utility model, with less manual intervention.
Private/Internal Clouds Will Be a Key Mechanism for Aligning IT with the Business
In 2010, we expect to see aggressive growth in the deployment of private and internal clouds, particularly at large and global enterprises. The private cloud model offers IT a strategic solution for getting constituents the infrastructure and services they need, exactly when they need them. Phil Dawson, research vice president at Gartner, states that, "for now, private cloud computing will not just be a viable term, it will be a significant strategic investment for most large organisations." The self-service nature of the private cloud eliminates infrastructure delivery bottlenecks for both administrators and business users, driving down operational and capital expenses while simultaneously increasing the quality of service and improving business agility.
IT Leaders Will Make Significant Investments in the Cloud
If 2009 was the year of the tightened purse string, 2010 will be the year of the gradual loosening. We believe that there is significant pent-up demand due to the reduced budgets in 2009. In fact, Forrester is, "looking forward to a period of innovation and growth driven by new opportunities in business alignment, cloud, and "smart" computing," fueled by a 4.9% increase in IT spending. We're already seeing enterprise cloud projects being budgeted for early 2010, and this trend should increase over the course of the year as the economy grows out of the current recession and returns from early cloud investments are realized.
The Market Will Separate the Proverbial "Wheat from the Chaff"
In the grab for ultimate market and thought leadership, cloud software vendors will have to prove the viability of their solutions sooner rather than later. Enterprise organizations should expect cloud vendors to demonstrate scalable solutions with proven customer references and rapid return on investment.
2010 promises to be an interesting year with the improving economic health and the aggressive expansion of the cloud marketplace. With more than 150 successful private clouds deployed, Surgient has the technology and expertise to help global 2000 companies quickly and successfully transition their data centers.
About the Author
Tim Lucas is the President and CEO of Surgient.
Tim is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of Surgient, including all aspects of strategy and execution. Previously, Tim was Surgient's CFO and Vice President of Services. Tim brings to the Company more than 20 years of public and private company experience in various leadership roles. Prior to joining Surgient, Tim was the finance executive for a $200MM business unit of SAS Institute, the largest private software company in the world. Tim has also previously served as VP of Consulting and as Senior Director of Operations at Red Hat, where he founded the company's global professional services practice with a focus on meeting client needs. Tim has a bachelor of business administration, with distinction, from the University of Oklahoma.