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Synata 2014 Predictions - Hybrid Saas Deployments: The Future of the Enterprise Cloud

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Patrick White, CEO of enterprise cloud company, Synata

Hybrid Saas Deployments: The Future of the Enterprise Cloud

It's an interesting time to be in the enterprise cloud business. Countless cloud startups are developing intuitive products due to the low infrastructure costs and barriers to entry. End-users are eating them up. Dropbox just hit 200 million users - you can bet that wouldn't have happened if they hadn't started selling to teams and the enterprise. On the otherside, many large companies are still stuck with monolithic, application suite enterprise software.

Each year, we have people proclaiming it "the year of the cloud." The truth is, this transition isn't going to happen over night. The cloud is still misunderstood by a surprising amount of business people. According to a Citrix survey, 51% of people think stormy weather affects cloud computing. That being said, here are our cloud predictions for 2014.

Enterprise Cloud Adoption Accelerates, Duh!

Organizations are finally seeing the benefits the cloud can provide in cost savings, usability, and efficiency. Employees are experimenting with apps that make their job easier. Each functional area now has access to cloud tools that were specifically developed for marketing, sales, HR, etc. Tech-savvy employees are often ahead of the technology curve. Equipped with everything from mobile devices to their own personal clouds, these productive workers are helping to push businesses toward cloud adoption.

Cloud service providers are slowly gaining more trust by stepping up their availability and security. A recent Gartner survey found that only 38 percent of all organizations surveyed indicate cloud services use today. However, 80 percent of organizations said that they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months. Growth in big data will drive cloud adoption as a result of the increasing demands and volumes associated with data management and analysis.

More Emerging "Best of Breed" Cloud Applications

We've reentered an era of best of breed applications. It used to be that in order to get mass distribution, a startup's best bet was to get acquired early by one of the big vendors. Once acquired, they'd have access to a sales force that could sell directly to the CIO. Now, Instead of going through the CIO to sell the product, companies target managers and doers - the people who actually use the tool. They're able to download the product (usually for free) from the cloud.

This is a good thing because it means apps can be more tailored to the individual. Could you imagine a huge enterprise vendor like Microsoft building three CRMs: CRM for Road Warriors, CRM for SDRs, and CRM for People Just Showing Up For A Paycheck? No way - but startups can and probably will. Every function across an enterprise will start to see very specific, highly connected apps looking to fill niches not yet accommodated by larger vendors.

Hybrid SaaS Deployments (On-Prem + Cloud)

Many organizations are adopting a hybrid approach that allows them to enjoy some of the advantages of the cloud while keeping greater control over some of their data. This is a particularly attractive option for companies that are subject to strict security or compliance policies.

Interest in private clouds tends to follow on the heels of success with data center virtualization, which leads to cost savings. But private cloud computing still looms large, with organizations needing to implement self-service provisioning for end users. The driver of private cloud adoption is really greater speed of IT response to business needs.

It's only a matter of time before one or more of the cloud-only vendors will start doing an on-premise, private cloud version of their products. Once a huge enterprise company like Box starts doing this, the others will follow.

The cloud has infiltrated the enterprise. In 2014, be on the lookout for higher cloud adoption rates, more specialized enterprise apps, and hybrid SaaS deployments. Just for fun, here are some other trends to revisit in a year.

  • Enterprise app ecosystems allow partners to integrate the core product into their mobile and desktop apps. Salesforce's App Exchange is a great example. It'll be interesting to see how other enterprise companies develop their ecosystems.

  • With all these best of breed applications gaining traction, how will IT manage integrations? Will we see a re-birth of middleware?

  • As these app ecosystems grow, will there be a movement towards the standardization of APIs or normalizing data schemas?

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About the Author

Patrick White has spent the last decade architecting computer software at companies including Intuit, Microsoft, and VistaConnect. Prior to founding the consulting firm Ally Software in 2009, Pat oversaw the development of award-winning products as a Group Product Manager at Fortify Software (HP). Having spend the last several years building large scale systems for enterprise and government clients, Patrick recognized the extent to which snowballing data siloing was impacting businesses.
Published Friday, November 22, 2013 6:26 AM by David Marshall
Comments
Now on VMBlog: Synata's 2014 Cloud Predictions by Synata BlogSynata Blog - (Author's Link) - November 25, 2013 2:04 PM
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