Thought Leadership

Cloud Computing: Emerging Trends

Cloud Computing: Emerging Trends

Rajesh Rege, Director, Cloud and Datacentre Sales, Cisco India & SAARC

Expected to be an inflection point for cloud computing, 2013 holds a great potential for innovation driven by a surge in demand for reliable, secure, high speed and resilient mobile and broadband networks and infrastructure.

According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, global cloud computing traffic will increase 12-fold from 130 exabytes to reach a total of 1.6 zettabytes annually by 2015. Cloud is the fastest growing component of data center traffic, growing to more than 33 per cent of the total by 2015.

A research by GigaOM expects the cloud market to grow to $158.8 billion in 2014. The opportunities will lie in both existing cloud architectures and emerging new architectures as organizations take advantage of differing deployment models.

According to IDC, global spending on public IT cloud services will be more than $40 billion this year, with a CAGR of more than 25 per cent. This represents a significant shift for businesses from the 'testing/development' stage towards a much broader adoption and deployment of cloud solutions.

As the adoption of cloud computing advances, M&A activity within the SaaS and PaaS cloud environment is likely to increase with leading systems vendors looking to strategically partner with, or acquire companies who can provide the right solutions to overcome the challenges of cloud computing. Some other trends forseen in this space include:

Mobile cloud: The concept of ‘Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) will continue to gain momentum, as more organizations understand the benefits like cost savings and increased employee productivity. With more businesses becoming mobile, there will be a move towards cloud as organizations begin to shift IT assets from their own data centres to the cloud. As they to adopt the cloud, enterprises will begin to host at least parts of their data on the cloud, even mission-critical workloads.

Hybrid Cloud: Given their varied security concerns, adoption of ‘hybrid cloud' model will see an uptick since it provides the advantage of reducing the infrastructure cost, in addition to protecting and controlling mission-critical workloads. Enterprises might not settle on a single cloud model, instead will use multiple cloud technologies spread among multiple deployment environments. The challenge for enterprise IT will be to develop plans for implementing a management framework that can span all cloud environments in use.

New business models: The year will drive the financial implications of enterprise adoption of pay-as-you-go pricing. Businesses are considering buying services on-demand rather than purchasing physical hardware, software licenses and maintenance contracts. More and more businesses will move towards paying for X-as-a-service type solutions on-demand within their own data centre or that of a provider, indicating a trend towards business models that favour OPEX. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud providers are battling in a price war that has seen 29 price reductions by the four major providers during the past 14 months, a trend industry analysts expect to continue.The need to move to the cloud for many would not be technology, but the economics of running application workloads.

As the money shifts to cloud, it will create a group of specialist cloud consultants to help businesses build and use relevant cloud architectures. Irrespective of their size, organizations will increase the talent and skill sets needed to beef cloud consulting practices to provide the cloud solution which works best for businesses regardless of whether it is public/private or hybrid clouds.

There will be increasing opportunities for enterprise IT departments to become internal cloud specialists themselves and play a strategic role in helping increase business agility by leveraging cloud capabilities and making sure businesses spend wisely.

Open source and other standards: Today, there is confusion over deploying cloud and it is not clear who businesses should turn to. This fragmentation should begin to dissipate later in 2013 and beyond as the marketplace coalesces around standards. According to Gartner, by 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15 per cent of top outsourcing players' revenue, and more than 20 per cent of large IT outsourcers who do not invest enough in industrialization and value-added services, will disappear through M&A's.

Open source will continue to gain relevance, and we will see more commercialized services based on open source platforms coming to market. The emergence of Open Source (Open Stack) holds great promise to the cloud ecosystem. It will help eliminate customer 'lock-in' to proprietary cloud technologies and enable ecosystems of cloud services to have interoperability. This will permit organizations to have a broad spectrum of choice, leverage best-of-breed cloud services and ensure interoperability.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) conversations will increase to make the cloud a utility platform differentiated by reliability, scalability and standardization. Of course, APIs will have to be standardized, and interoperability and federated cloud formations need to happen - both in a geographic sense and within industry verticals.

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