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History Will Show 2014 as The Year That Enterprises Determine Ownership Of The Cloud

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

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

Contributed by Jennifer Gill, director, product marketing, Zerto  

The cloud market is in a state of unrest. There are cloud computing, cloud storage, cloud enablement, cloud management and cloud services offerings, among others. This has pushed many organizations to spend 2013 trying to wade through the choices available for their IT needs, and these organizations are no doubt more confused now than when they started. The approaches to deploying the cloud are countless, and 2013 saw more messages on the benefits of the cloud than ever before, but those messages often contradicted one another. The good news is that 2014 is here, and that 12-month span will be the pivotal period where enterprises, not the cloud companies, determine the real direction of the cloud.

Why Some Enterprises Aren't Sold on the Cloud...Yet

Part of the reason for this uncertainty is that some cloud service providers (CSPs) give organizations reasons to question the cloud's reliability. High-profile cloud outages, as well as some high-profile cloud company failures, continue to give CIOs pause when the cloud topic comes up. Looking forward however, it seems that the cloud can handle just about any IT need. CIOs are no longer so hesitant to keep everything within the walls of their data centers, a trend that mirrors how organizations must support a global workforce. If employees can work and be productive outside the walls of headquarters, why must the IT that supports them be located all in one place, too?

New Players for a New Game

In 2013, it seems there were countless enterprise-class cloud companies and service providers popping up, and three notable names threw their muscle behind the cloud: Google with its public cloud offering, and Microsoft and VMware revealing big bets on the cloud as they move into areas traditionally served by CSPs. The focus these three industry behemoths have placed on their respective cloud initiatives adds to the available choices for organizations.

So the question remains: What shape will the cloud take to best meet enterprise needs in 2014? The short answer is that we simply don't know. The answer will be determined by the overarching philosophy that the enterprise adopts, and to get to that point, they need to address the following questions:

  • What IT resources are available, and what ones are needed?
  • What is enterprise IT looking to accomplish in the cloud?
  • Does an organization want to remain in control of all its IT assets? Or is it comfortable with relinquishing some direct management over information and applications in order to gain efficiency and scalability?
  • Which cloud implementation will enable the enterprise to maintain its level of service for users and customers, while giving it the freedom to take on initiatives that will improve the business?

The Future is Cloudy, But the Forecast Calls for Clear Skies

The potential for the cloud has never been greater. The problem is that the next step, the most important step, is not yet defined, and the enterprise can take that step in any number of directions. The decisions that enterprises make in the year ahead will shine a spotlight on one of those paths, and cloud providers had better be ready to adapt to it, or they will be left for dead at the fork in the road.
Published Friday, January 17, 2014 6:33 AM by David Marshall
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