The Cloud is Here (and Not Going Anywhere)

The Cloud is Here (and Not Going Anywhere)

Lately, there have appeared many articles on the Internet about how the cloud is now approaching maturity, and definitely here to stay, so I thought we should have a look at the evidence and what it actually means.

This State of the Cloud 2011 Global Survey shows us some essential numbers:

  • Three-fourths of organizations are at least discussing cloud adoption.
  • In fact more than half are in trials, implementing or have already implemented the cloud.

If we are looking at predictions for the future, the figures are overwhelming. This white paper from CISCO, Global Cloud Index, shows, among other amazing things, that global cloud traffic will increase 12 times by 2015. Another study from IDC says that “[In 2012,] 80% of new commercial enterprise apps will be deployed on cloud platforms”.

What I believe proves how widespread cloud computing services are is a Microsoft survey from Canada, which found that 19 per cent of those who indicated they are not currently using cloud services were in fact leveraging cloud computing solutions and services like Microsoft Web Apps, Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure. I think this shows the popularity of the services but also the necessity for the industry to better educate the market.

And this is something the cloud computing industry has to do for it to reach maturity. The numbers are there to prove that cloud computing services are both popular and necessary, but a few things must still be settled. Beside a need to educate, there are, of course, the usual suspects: security, availability, reliability, lack of (or too many) standards, fear, complexity, and I have talked about these issues in my article 5 Challenges in the Journey to the Cloud.

There are clearly challenges for cloud computing in the process of maturing, but growing pains are only natural and all that matters is how these challenges are overcome. From various surveys I cited at the beginning of the article it is clear that although cloud computing is becoming mainstream, organizations still have issues that have to be addressed before fully embracing the cloud.

Some of these issues are internal, like the need to reorganize IT departments to integrate cloud services and retrain or hire new people. But most of the issues are for the cloud computing industry to solve, and the process has started in 2011 and will continue in 2012.

Of course, with the new level of maturity the cloud computing industry will face different challenges, like increased competition between providers and battles over market share, but this is a story for another day.

By Rick Blaisdell

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