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Consumerization Accelerates Cloud Computing Changes in 2012
Article by Leslie Muller, CTO and Founder, DynamicOps
Corporate IT experienced a fair amount of change in 2011, with virtualization mainstreaming and cloud computing making real inroads. But all that pales in comparison to what will happen in 2012, as the world outside the corporate arena drives changes at an even faster pace, impacting the very fabric of enterprise IT. Here's what to look for:
- Dematerialization becomes the norm.
In our everyday lives, more and more people are trading the physical for digital, and ownership for temporary usage. As DVDs give way to on-demand streaming, eBooks become favored over paper books, and concepts like Zipcar build momentum, the idea of utilizing something without taking physical possession will not only be more accepted, it will be preferred. And that will cross over into the workplace, where the vast majority of employees will readily adopt to virtualization and cloud computing, so they can use resources without having to "own" them. Virtual machines will become the standard, and IT organizations will look for ways to simplify the operational processes, keep the costs of managing the plethora of dematerialized resources in check, and put chargeback mechanisms for renting virtual resources in place.
- Consumerization becomes the driving theme behind cloud computing.
Whereas in the past, technology changes were decided by IT and implemented on IT's timetable, in the coming year the consumer, i.e., your company's employees, will hold much greater sway. Just as in the outside world, where we buy computers at Dell.com that we can customize to our heart's content, order cars whose multiple features match our exact desires, book our own flights, and frequent ATMs instead of bank tellers, at work employees will rebel against generic, cookie-cutter IT resources that take days or weeks to arrive-even with virtualization systems. Users will demand the ability to self-service highly customized resources that are instantly available.
In 2012, when employees bring their iPads and iPhones to work, they will expect to get all the applications and support that they traditionally received on their laptops, desktops and terminal server devices. This means that the volume and complexity of resources that IT needs to manage will grow tremendously next year, putting unprecedented pressure on your processes and systems. Because most cloud computing and virtualization management tools weren't designed to handle these extraordinary requirements, enterprises will turn to cloud automation solutions that are built to enable real-time, mass customization and self-service. These tools will be user-aware so that they know not only who is ordering them, but where they reside at the time of use, what device is being used to access the resources, and what type of SLA the user falls under.
- Hybrid cloud gains traction as trust in public cloud vendors grows.
Public cloud vendors aren't just competing on price; they're competing on reputation. Reputation translates to trust. You need to know that you can rely on that third-party to provide capacity that will be available whenever you need it without any interruptions. Assuming the service meets expectations, trust grows over time, just as it has with online credit card transactions and online banking. In the second half of 2012, as enterprises need greater capacity to handle the increasing demand that consumerization puts on corporate IT, they will also begin to overcome the trust hurdle with public cloud providers. As a result, more businesses will implement hybrid cloud, tying their private clouds to the Amazon EC2s of the world. They will require gateway solutions that allow for easily extending existing private clouds into hybrid clouds.
- Government regulations for public and hybrid cloud will be introduced.
As more businesses take advantage of public cloud capacity, the need to regulate privacy will become more urgent. Government agencies and regulatory bodies will step in, impacting how enterprises build and manage hybrid cloud. For instance, international companies will require systems that enable them to cope with complexities such as data protection regulations that cross jurisdictions. They will have to understand how their network uses various public clouds in different geographies. IT organizations will look for cloud management systems that make it possible-and hopefully, simple-to employ and ensure governance across their hybrid cloud.
- Consolidation of cloud and virtualization vendors.
With changes from everyday consumer life impacting the business arena at an ever-accelerating pace, IT vendors will find it increasingly difficult to keep up. To compete, they will need to offer solutions that provide the type of self-service, automation, and governance that the new consumerized workplace demands. The only way to do this is by acquiring smaller, nimble companies. Next year, look for a high volume of consolidations, where larger IT vendors buy specialized cloud-focused IT providers, fund them, and allow them to operate relatively independently so that they can maintain their ability to innovate.
About the Author
Leslie Muller - Chief Technology Officer and Founder, DynamicOps.
As CTO, Leslie Muller is responsible for DynamicOps' technical strategy and product architecture. Muller has over 18 years of commercial experience as an entrepreneur, developer, chief architect, and executive leader with deep systems management experience and a successful track record in definition and delivery of enterprise software products. Prior to founding DynamicOps, Muller was Senior Technologist at Credit Suisse, responsible for defining IT virtualization strategy and coordinating deployment. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he founded several successful startup companies including Configuresoft, which provided enterprise configuration management, and SeNTry, which was purchased by NetIQ and is now part of Microsoft's Operation Manager product. Muller is intensely passionate about technology and has specialized for the past 10 years in the application of leading-edge technologies to solving complex problems in the enterprise management domain.