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Anaplan 2015 Predictions: Cloud Computing - What Will 2015 Bring?


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Ian Stone, Managing Director, Anaplan

Cloud Computing: What Will 2015 Bring?

Back in 1724 Edward Ward famously noted that death and taxes are the only two certainties in life - had he lived in the present day he may well have added the adoption of cloud computing to this list. 

There is not disputing that 2014 is an important year for the cloud's steady march into the mainstream. The majority of companies are now committing to the technology model, basing their long-term business strategy on the benefits it can offer. It's been a slow process but organisations have begun to cut through the myths and hype surrounding cloud computing and understand the value - and limitations - it presents.

While we can fully expect the rise of cloud to continue unabated into 2015, businesses are now beginning to ask new questions about the impact it will have on working practices, IT security, flexibility, and data availability. So, without further ado, here are my reflections of the cloud's developments over the past year - as well as some predictions on what we'll be talking about over the next 12 months... 

Where are we now: Market Maturity?

Cloud computing has emerged from its awkward adolescent stage and is now, for many, considered as a hygiene factor. As recently as three years ago cloud-based providers would expect to be placed on a tender with several on-premise competitors; today organisations are increasingly stipulating that any solutions must be delivered via the cloud. Most industries and market sectors across the US and abroad have joined the ‘cloud-first' mind set, keen to take the cloud route whenever the option is available.

Looking forward, the cloud-by-default approach will continue - serving as a wake-up call for businesses that are yet to make their first foray into the ‘as-a-service' computing market. At this point, if your business still doesn't have a cloud strategy then I have to tell you: you're at least a year behind the competition.

Where are we now: The Rise of the Flexible Enterprise Platform?

2015 will see the rise of the flexible enterprise platform built for the cloud and continued decline of legacy B2B vendors who are simply moving old software to the cloud. While the legacy vendors may be finally be waking up to the fact that cloud is the future of enterprise software, they seem unable to shake the same old mentality of trying to update their on-premise solutions with cloud technology, which maintains the same, large, and expensive footprint. Enterprises are pivoting away from traditional enterprise vendors and moving toward those with a cloud-based, application-first strategy.

According to IDC, who first identified the 3rd Platform in 2007 and predicted that it would eventually become the new core of ICT market growth, in 2015 the 3rd Platform will account for one third of global ICT spending and 100% of spending growth. IDC believes that the industry is now entering the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era: the 'Innovation Stage' and expects that over the next several years, there will be an explosion of innovation and value creation on top of the 3rd Platform's foundation. They say this stage will be driven by a new wave of core technologies - Innovation Accelerators - that radically extend the 3rd Platform's capabilities and applications across all industries.

Where are we now: Shadow IT?

Shadow IT, the scourge of the CIO, has been a key issue of 2014. With end-users finding cloud services more accessible than ever before, IT spending without the CIOs knowledge has increased. Technology is now so crucial to every aspect of business life so it's no surprise that decision-makers are finding ways to purchase the applications and services they want to use. It's a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, with Gartner predicting that by 2017 CMOs will be spending more on IT than CIOs do. On one hand its good news: departments are able to work in the way they find most efficient. However, it can leave organizations at risk of data leaks and losses through the use of unapproved suppliers.

As the saying goes: ‘don't hate the player, hate the game' - the flexibility of cloud offers a double-edged sword for CIOs and they will need to take drastic steps to not simply curtail this freedom but nurture it in a productive way.

Over the next year I believe that we'll see IT departments begin to move against shadow IT by shifting focus from an end-user centric model to becoming a service provider. IT departments will look to provide a framework that provides freedom for individuals to explore their own working practices.

Where are we now: Cloud Concerns?

The post-Snowden landscape has seen no slowdown in the adoption of cloud computing - though it has left organizations concerned over the location of their data. These worries will take on a new shape in the next year as businesses begin to raise the question of responsibility for data security: who is accountable, end-user or supplier? The imminent EU data protection regulation should also help raise this debate up the boardroom agenda.

It's an exciting year ahead, with the cloud's influence set to grow as it continues to play such a pivotal role within enterprise technology. The freedom and agility it offers organizations will help in unlocking new, creative business models that can better serve the consumer needs - a benefit that we are only just beginning to appreciate.

Published Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:50 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:57 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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