Although most organizations currently use the cloud to one degree or another, two recent surveys suggest that 2015 will witness a major tipping point in terms of adoption.
A survey of nearly 200 IT professionals conducted by Level 3 Communications, reports that not only did 34.1 percent report they are currently running and managing applications in the cloud, but also finds that 48.3 percent say they are “on their way.”In addition, 31.1 percent say they are already running internal/private and mission-critical applications in the cloud, with 66.4 percent saying they are somewhere between investigating and planning/implementing similar application deployments.
Meanwhile, market research from Saugutuck Technology forecasts that more than 60 percent of organizations will have at least half their infrastructure and applications running in the cloud by 2018.
For all that to occur on that schedule, the coming year clearly represents the time when the cloud moves from the edge to the center of enterprise IT strategies. The simple truth of the matter is that a lot of cloud usage up until now has been of the accidental variety. A line of business unit usually decides that software-as-a-service (SaaS) application is critical or the application development team goes off on its own to create development and test environments running on a public cloud.
In the coming year the decisions involving the deployment of applications in the cloud will be made more deliberately by the internal IT organization. Those IT organizations are clearly getting more comfortable with hybrid cloud computing. Obviously, there are a lot of challenges associated with everything from networking to data integration that still need to be overcome. But the flexibility that cloud computing provides is clearly trumping any lingering concerns, including security.
As cloud computing goes mainstream the opportunity for providers of IT services exponentially increases. Better still, the integration of all those cloud services is getting simpler as the application programming interfaces (APIs) are becoming increasingly more robust and better defined. In fact, Saugutuck predicts that by 2017 a full 70 percent of all software solutions will be assembled and composed using APIs.
That all bodes particularly well for providers of IT services because APIs provide a higher level of abstraction that allows their brand to be more dominant. In fact, customers may not care that much where a particular piece of data is stored as long as the IT service provider stands by a service level agreement (SLA) and the laws of whatever country they are doing business in. Longer term it’s also going to be possible for IT service providers to create custom work flows that span multiple applications. For that reason alone, the valuations of IT service providers have been steadily on the rise.
Of course, for all that to happen there has to be enough critical mass of applications running in the cloud. In fact, the more applications that wind up running in the cloud, the better it is for IT service providers. Each new application brings with it a whole host of integration challenges that require IT integration expertise because, after all, no application is ever going to be an island on to itself. Given all that, the one thing that is for certain in 2015 is that demand for that expertise is going to be greater than ever before.