Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Chris Ortbals, Vice President, Cloud Services, Cbeyond
The Cloud: What’s on the Horizon in 2013?
it has been viewed as the next big thing in IT for a few years now, 2012 may
very well be remembered as the year the cloud finally rolled in across the
greater business landscape. What was
once a potentially confusing and highly-technical concept has become the norm,
and more businesses - regardless of size - are realizing the cost, flexibility
and productivity benefits of virtualization.
cloud adoption has historically been higher in the much larger enterprise
customer base, recent studies indicate a steady increase in SMB cloud adoption. According to a recent CompTIA survey, 72
percent of small businesses feel more positive about the cloud now than they
did one year ago. Heading into 2013, there is no reason to doubt that cloud adoption
will expand into even more varied industries and business environments.
what is next for the cloud among small, mid-sized and enterprise businesses in
the coming year? While true
prognostication is impossible, given the ever-changing and unpredictable nature
of today's IT landscape, the following predictions reflect the most prominent
cloud trends that closed 2012, and set up a formidable framework for 2013.
- Déjà vu- Cloud technology has been well
adopted by enterprises for several years. In fact, cloud IaaS is considered by
some the new managed hosting/utility compute of years past. 2012 was the year in which cloud began to
emerge as the standard for IT infrastructure outsourcing for more than large
enterprises and the application developer communities. As a result, more customers this year will
likely feel that their cloud based infrastructure services have matured to a
level where production application deployment is possible alongside their test and
development or non-mission critical applications.
to Reach for the Sky - 2013 should be the "Year of the Cloud"
for small and mid-sized businesses in particular. While most large cloud
providers have yet to focus on this market, it has not stopped SMBs from understanding
how the cloud can help them meet growing demand to store or manage critical
information and processes off-premise, and drive efficiency. A recent Cbeyond survey found that more than
half of small businesses currently use cloud services, with that number
expected to grow significantly in the coming years. To prepare for this growth, cloud providers
will need to tailor their solutions to the SMB market's unique and potentially
from Cloud to Cloud - Growing understanding of the cloud among
the IT community will also present cloud providers with unprecedented criteria
and lengthier customer negotiations. Businesses
that jumped on the cloud in its early stages are likely to have reached, or
will reach in 2013, the end of their first cloud contract. Armed with greater virtualization knowledge,
and with seemingly infinitely more hosting providers available than during
their first negotiation, 2013 could see the first true competitive customer
race in the cloud space, and some businesses making the leap to a more suitable
provider. This trend is also significant
for cloud providers, who must prepare to handle migrations via a cost effective
and repeatable cloud enablement practice as SMBs move on-premise services into
Networked Advantage - The past few years have been more heavily
focused on the technology and capabilities of cloud within the data
center. A recent Cisco study of IT
decision makers, however, highlighted that a cloud-ready network is the biggest
infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments. 2013 will be a year where the focus shifts
more to production application deployments.
This will require customers and cloud providers to consider a solution
that wraps in secure, performance-backed network connectivity from their
premise to the cloud.
the Cloud - The same Microsoft cloud adoption survey referenced
above also found that a significant segment of businesses believe their data is
less secure in the cloud than on-premise. As these companies ease into greater trust in
the cloud, and with security threats always looming, even more businesses will
link their virtual services to a secure, private network to ensure greater
protection. Limiting access and
implementing stricter security measures is also critical for ensuring
regulatory compliance, which became a growing concern for cloud-reliant
businesses in 2012. Cbeyond experienced greater demand for aligned virtual
services, as well as migration services, this year to ensure safe,
uninterrupted transitions to the cloud, and there's no reason to think this
will decrease across the industry in 2013.
the dynamic nature of the IT industry foresees that uncertainty is the only
absolute certainty, cloud providers and customers that keep these end-of-year
trends in mind when planning for 2013 can stay a step ahead of their
sky is not fully clear just yet, but those best prepared to evaluate and
properly leverage the cloud will be looking at 2014's
predictions a little more confidently.
About the Author
Ortbals is the vice president of cloud services for Cbeyond (www.cbeyond.com),
the technology ally for cloud and network services to more than 60,000
businesses nationwide. Ortbals leads the
product management and development of Cbeyond's cloud and managed hosting
offerings, and is responsible for the vision, strategy and execution for the
cloud product line. Ortbals has
extensive experience in product management, product development and IT
services. Before joining Cbeyond, he held
several leadership positions across a decade of work with Savvis, where he
built its Symphony Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) solution from the ground
up. In this role, Ortbals was
responsible for the product management and development of Savvis' flagship
cloud services platform. Ortbals has a
Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University and a master's degree
in information management from Washington University.