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Spending on cloud services is expected to surpass $100bn in 2014, according to IDC

Spending on cloud services is expected to surpass $100bn in 2014 according to IDC

With public cloud spending set to surpass $100bn this year according to IDC many are looking to 2014 as the year the cloud sector moves into a second phase of industrial development, unleashing a wave of innovation and consolidation in its path. And according to industry specialists, much of what happens next in the cloud sector will depend on the deepening integration of mobile, cloud, big data and traditional IT technologies.

With this in mind, here is a roundup of what tech analysts, industry veterans and shameless prognosticators say is in store for us in 2014.

The year of PaaS is 2014

“Value will start to migrate “up the stack”, from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS) and from generic PaaS to data-optimized PaaS. The latter will be most evident as Amazon Web Services rolls out an avalanche of platform-as-a-service offerings for developers and higher value services for businesses. This will force incumbent IT suppliers – the companies that won market leadership in the 2nd Platform era (pre-mobile, big data, cloud) – to urgently reconfigure themselves to fight for position in the 3rd Platform (mobile, big data, cloud) marketplace. Joining them in the fight will be Google, which will realize it is at risk of being boxed out of a market where it should be vying for leadership.” – Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC

Hybrid cloud will impact application deployment strategies

“The tension within IT on moving to the cloud will resolve as organisations recognise that a hybrid cloud model is needed to serve their application portfolio.  CIOs will sort their application portfolio into those they must control entirely (in on-premise private clouds), control partially (in enterprise public clouds), as well as workloads that are more transient (public hyperscale clouds), and those best purchased as SaaS. IT will act as brokers across these diverse cloud models. This will also uncover the need to easily move application data between clouds and to provision consistent storage service capabilities across different cloud models.” – Jay Kidd, chief technical officer, NetApp

Security concerns will drive encryption everywhere

“Every credible cloud platform will encrypt data all the way through. Several undercurrents are driving this prediction – data sovereignty, global cloud deployments and yes, PRISM,” – Richard Seroter, head of cloud product management, CenturyLink Cloud

Mobile and cloud to force new thinking on security

“The combination of cloud and mobility, predicted and proven in 2013, means there’s no longer a perimeter to your business you can control. Even if you tried to enforce perimeter controls they would not be very effective as so much of the work is shifting outside your perimeter to the public cloud. Additionally, users have so many devices now that you can’t enforce device security such as NAC as the management overhead is too daunting. The focus needs to shift from protecting the network and the devices to protecting the data with a Zero Trust security model. With the network perimeter shrinking and the devices proliferating, your data is the one thing you can control,” – James Staten, vice president and principal analyst, infrastructure and operations professional, Forrester Research

Big enterprises will adopt SMB tactics in IT

“More and more enterprises will need to adopt tactics normally associated with startups (e.g.: DevOps, continuous integration and delivery, agile development) in order to handle the need to support ever-changing digital fields such as mobile application development, web analytics and social media. In this transformation, system administrators will need to brush up on their coding or get left behind with the legacy applications. Database admins will need to make the jump to Big Data and NoSQL. The enterprise CIO who realizes how to make DevOps and agile development work in their organization will lead the way. This will take root in 2014 and continue to grow over the next 5 to 10 years as applications are replaced.” – John Engates, chief technology officer, Rackspace

The rise of the “industry cloud”

“We can expect to see an increase in savvy IT services companies creating cloud packages tailored to the needs of particular sectors. Smaller organisations sometimes struggle to manage all the different companies who offer cloud solutions – it is much harder to negotiate a good deal when you are buying email from one vendor and cloud storage from another. By targeting one area of industry, IT services companies can offer a bundle that addresses the common needs of that particular sector. For example financial services organisations are likely to have requirements that involve compliance, auditing and security.  It’s an opportunity that’s out there – and someone is going to run it with next year.” – Andrew McLean, chief executive officer, AppLayer

Businesses and IT will merge

“As lines of business (LOBs) recognise the value of the cloud, IT has in many instances been left out of the loop. It’s time to recognise that the IT department’s relevance depends on its ability to map out long-range cloud plans that align with business strategies. Demonstrating that IT understands what LOBs need and expect in terms of cloud experience and access is a crucial step in addressing the shadow IT trend. Forward-looking IT leaders will begin to collaborate with LOBs to raise awareness of how the “wrong” cloud technologies can impact data availability and business performance as well as give businesses the competitive edge over the long term.” – Dave LeClair, director of strategy and product management, Stratus Technologies

Big data will change IT and drive private cloud storage adoption

“Big Data will become even bigger, driven largely by the growth of “Internet of Things”. However, as everything becomes driven by IP addresses and the amount of data generated continues to grow, we can expect this to put unprecedented pressure on storage strategies and technologies. As a result, over the next year we can expect two things. Firstly, in-house companies will need to move towards a combination of robust storage hardware and software that allows for quick access to relevant information. Secondly, as data storage needs increase, more companies will turn to private cloud storage.” – Paul Coates, regional vice president, UK and South Africa at Riverbed

OpenStack to hit the mainstream but only the strongest providers will survive

“In 2013 we saw the proliferation of OpenStack distributions, to the point where it feels very similar to the early days of Linux – everyone seems to have a Linux distribution. In 2014, we’re going to see OpenStack distributions collapse. That’s because it’s not enough to just repackage bits; providers need really broad and deep knowledge of both OpenStack and Linux. Customers will look toward the organizations that have this deep knowledge as they seek credible solutions that combine OpenStack and Linux. The few companies that have the ability to offer tight integration between the two will be the last ones left standing.” – Chuck Dubuque, director, product marketing, virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

Wearables will grow in popularity and require new infrastructure to support them

“The growth of wearable technology such as Fistbit and Nike devices, along with Google Glasses will be part of our daily lives and therefore revolutionise how we interact with and create data – mobile is no longer just smartphones and tablets. This will influence marketing campaigns for retailers, health care providers and consumer goods companies and require a new set of infrastructure to deal with the huge amount of data that will be collected, analysed and acted upon.” – Mario Faria, chief data officer, ServiceSource

Mobile networks becoming the new networks

“While advances in mobile technology over the last decade have been astonishing, it’s clear that the traditional “centralised” office landscape is changing, becoming increasingly fragmented and leaving many businesses gradually more reliant on mobile devices. 2014 will likely see the proliferation of mobile cloud networking (MCN) development, where mobile infrastructure will become a natural extension of the BYOD environments that many businesses run for CapEx or performance reasons.” – Jonathan Wisler, EMEA General Manager SoftLayer

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