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Forecast for 2013 - Cloudy with a chance of greater adoption

Another year went by and there have been predictions, predictions and more predictions. Predictions are important as they set the tone for the ecosystem as a whole. In the Information Technology space, sometimes these predictions have even changed the course of the future as they served as a "guiding star" to new methodologies, frameworks, models and approaches to help businesses solve their problems and reap greater benefits leveraging IT.

The Top 5 buzz words (in general, though you may not agree to all of them) last year were Cloud, Mobility, Big-Data, Social Media and Smartphones.

If we take a pause and see the connection between these 5 areas, we will realize that it boils down to three basic human needs of -

  1. Having the "power" in their hand, wherever they are!
  2. Be pampered as an individual and in a manner that showers "Focus" on him/her
  3. Connect, agree, differ, like, dislike, emote and listen to what the "friends" are talking about

All this has led to provisioning of infrastructure and solutions which are "ubiquitous" (Cloud) which are delivered on personal devices (Smartphones) in an any-where, any-time, any-device, any-form mode (Mobility) leading to a situation where none of us are ever "alone" (Social Media). To make all this "interesting" or "relevant" to the "individual" consumer there is need for frameworks and solution for this huge amount of data to be consumed, analysed and presented (Big Data).

I will not talk about all of them, but definitely about "Cloud" in the enterprise context. There has been significant challenges in understanding, analyzing, deciding and adopting of "Cloud" into the enterprise. The adoption has been sporadic and has been driven (not always) by peer pressure and be the leaders rather than a thought through portfolio assessment approach.

There were eight reasons for greater Cloud acceptance in enterprise last year (and most of them will be remain in 2013 as well)-

  1. Broadened Decision making - The decsion making has broadened base with Business making almost equal number of decisions as comparred to IT which was not possible in an on-premise deployment needing strong technical involvement
  2. Relevance to Business - The business drivers for cloud adoption are closely tied to Business KPIs (things like reduced costs, reduced time to market and operational efficiencies)
  3. Rapid Change in Business Needs - There is an increased need for being agile while responding to changing business conditions in the market. Can a "heavy" on-premise deployment have greater moving parts?
  4. Lower Entry Barriers - Cloud adotion is an "incremental" model with multiple options - private, hybrid and public with lower entry barriers
  5. No Vendor Lock-in - Lesser chances of vendor lock-ins and amenability to leverage multiple cloud solutions
  6. Ability to Co-exist and not compete - Cloud has not replaced legacy completely, but is actually working at "perifery" (which are equally important)
  7. Big names added to list of Cloud Service Providers - Bigger and established enterprise vendors have moved their offerings to the cloud which has built confidence in enterprise customers (addressed concerns on security, integrations, sustainability and scalability)
  8. Challenging Environment - Last, but not the least, the economic environment itself has led to enterprise looking at "Cloud" as a quick fix to some of the classical issues

Since, the enterprises have already walked on the "cloud" path for couple of years now, its time now to leverage these solutions for benefit of self and the extended organizations as well. The extended organization is an area where cloud adoption is less and should be an area of interest to any large enterprise having complex supply chains and widespread distribution network (more on that in my next blog).

This year is going to be a year where more and more applications will be availble on the cloud, will be able to talk to on-premise applications, will be availble 24X7 and will be more robust and secure. Cloud is going to become the default choice for any new application needs for the enterprise! What do you say?

Have a wonderful year ahead and enjoy this jouney to the cloud...

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