Tag: cloud computing trends

In recent years news about cloud technology and cloud computing has been the subject of keen interest.


However, when pressed to define exactly what this somewhat ephemeral “cloud” is, many market observers find themselves at a loss.

In view of the somewhat fuzzy understanding of the cloud, here’s a fairly simple and straightforward definition borrowed from the authors of “Cloud Computing for Dummies,” who describe it this way:

What Is the ‘Cloud’

“The ‘cloud’ in cloud computing can be defined as the set of hardware, networks, storage, services, and interfaces that combine to deliver aspects of computing as a service.” They go on to explain that cloud services can include the delivery of infrastructure, software, and storage over the Internet based on user demand.

However you define it, one thing is certain. Cloud technology is rapidly gaining acceptance and being more widely adopted by a number of industry groups.

Multiple Benefits

The cloud’s benefits for businesses — both large and small — are considerable, and gradual recognition of these benefits, perhaps grudging at first, has managed to convince an increasing number of companies to go with the cloud.

Depending on the extent to which a company wants to move its operations onto the cloud, the technology offers three primary categories of service:

Software as a Service

Software as a Service, or SaaS, involves the licensing and delivery of cloud-based software on a subscription basis. Independent software vendors and application service providers provide on-demand access to these software services along with relevant database storage.

Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, is a service model that’s sometimes known as Hardware as a Service. Under IaaS, a company pays a service provider for access to all the equipment required to support company operations. The service provider typically owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running, and maintaining it.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service, or PaaS, offers companies a way to rent hardware, operating systems, storage, and network capacity over the Internet.

While almost every industry has moved at least some portions of its operations or data storage onto the cloud, here, in no particular order, are four industries that are embracing the cloud:

Financial Services

Although initially slow to warm to cloud technology, financial services companies are stepping up their transition to cloud computing.

In answer to a 2012 survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 71 percent of the financial services companies surveyed said they planned to invest more in cloud services during 2013 than they did in 2012.

In its comments on the industry’s growing commitment to the cloud, PwC observed: “Agile companies are inventing new business models around the cloud to decrease time to market, create operational efficiencies, and engage customers in new ways. With the cloud, the sky’s the limit.”

Healthcare Industry

Overcoming its concerns about the security of sensitive patient data, the healthcare industry is embracing cloud technology as a cost-effective way of storing and sharing the voluminous amount of information it must handle as an essential part of doing business.

While the level of transition to the cloud is somewhat uneven across the industry, hospitals, doctors, and imaging centers that have made the move find that it not only allows easier access to patient information but also facilitates the transfer of such data to medical professionals and facilities around the world.


Retail Sector

To keep pace with the preferences of consumers who increasingly use digital technology to formulate buying decisions and to actually make purchases, old line retailers are turning to the cloud as the best way to deliver a seamless buying experience across all channels.

In its 2013 report, “A New Era for Retail: Cloud Computing Changes the Game,” Accenture reported that the retail sector’s cloud market is expected to more than triple in size from $4.2 billion in 2011 to $15.1 billion in 2015.

The Accenture report also carried the results of a survey among retailers about their readiness to provide a seamless buying experience. Roughly three-quarters of all retailers surveyed described their state of preparedness at or below “underdeveloped,” which goes a long way toward explaining the sharp increase in investments that is being contemplated.

Logistics and Transportation

Charged with the responsibility of getting products where they are needed when they are needed, the logistics and transportation industry must respond to the ebb and flow of traffic throughout the year.

While activity peaks at certain times of the year — introduction of spring fashions, back-to-school shopping, and the run-up to the winter holidays — this industry also has periods when traffic drops off dramatically.

In an article for “CIOReview,” David Cheverton, chief information officer for Damon Distribution Services, says that the industry’s seasonality makes it an ideal candidate for cloud technology.

Firms that otherwise would have to make prodigious investments in on-site hardware, storage space, and software can pay for only the services they need when they need them if they switch their operations to the cloud.

If they try to do everything in house, much of their on-site computing capability would be vastly underutilized for several months each year.

About the Author: Don Amerman is a freelance author who writes extensively about a wide array of business and personal finance topics.

License: Creative Commons image source

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As more and more people moved to the cloud, cloud computing became bigger and better last year. The top trends for this phenomenon in 2014 are

cloud trends 2014

1. Cloud computing is set to become mainstream computing

Yes, cloud computing will become mainstream computing as we know it. From client/server computing in the 1990’s to internet computing in the 2000’s to mobile computing in recent times, the transformation of computing as we know it has been dramatic. The “cloud” is set to take over this space.

2. The Personal Cloud Will Replace The PC

The research firm Gartner believes the personal cloud will replace the PC as the center of our digital lives as early as 2014.

“Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices,” Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner, said in a recent statement. “Emerging cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access during the different aspects of their daily life.”

3. The Emergence of Hybrid Clouds

There might be an end in sight for the debate over public cloud vs. private cloud architecture in enterprise IT. The rise of hybrid clouds – architectures that combine the security of private clouds with the scale and cost effective benefits of public clouds will encourage many businesses to adopt a cloud-based infrastructure. Businesses will embrace the cloud on account of a range of customizable solutions for IT decision-makers.

4. Web-powered Apps

Scalability and efficiency are among the main perks of cloud computing. With apps being used frequently by one and all the Web will become a major platform for cloud-based applications.

5. More Power to Graphics

Running high-end graphics applications typically calls for massive hardware infrastructure as a pre-requisite, but cloud computing is quickly changing that. Emerging cloud-based graphics technologies by companies are enabling end-users to run graphically powerful applications using little more than an HTML5 web browser.

6. Identity Management in the Cloud

Cloud services have proved to be more accessible, convenient and powerful. As cloud-based applications quickly take over businesses, businesses are now faced with a need to rethink security policies. Look for identity management solutions to bring new paradigms of security to the cloud in 2014.

7. Revolutionizing the Internet Industry

Cloud computing platforms are all set to play a major role in building the next generation intelligent, software-defined machines. The highlight is that these machines can be operated and controlled from centralized, remote locations.

8. Growth of Paas Markets

The number of companies adopting PaaS solutions in the coming years is bound to grow. PaaS enables businesses to lower IT costs and speeds up application development through efficient testing and deployment. According to analyst firm IDC, the PaaS market is expected to witness growth from $3.8 billion to $14 billion by 2017.

9. Greater Versatility of Ad serving options

Cloud computing offers businesses, marketers and advertisers a wide range of choices and flexibility to distribute and display advertising. The ability to create and distribute advertising that could reach consumers regardless of the technology they have available is a huge plus that the cloud offers and we will see more of this in 2014.

10. Buying Revolution on the Cloud

As more and more customers favor online transactions, which are fundamentally a cloud phenomenon there is already a buying revolution on the cloud. The burgeoning growth of online marketplaces, startups that help businesses sell through social media networks only signals huge opportunity in this arena.

This New Year most of us could be moving to a place in the “cloud”!

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Modern x86-based computer systems have changed the landscape of data centers. Giant supercomputers are no longer required to store massive amounts of data. As a result, data centers can be built smaller, and more efficiently, while still maintain the necessary storage and computing power that clients required. Most IT firms have access to the hardware and software needed to build a modern data center.

Virtualization has also helped to expand the usefulness of data centers. Even most major enterprise-level software can be virtualized, allowing it to run more efficiently and serve more clients within a single data center. This eliminates the inherent rigidity of separate hardware arrays for each client.

With the ability to virtualize client accounts, it allows for maximum utilization of existing hardware. Underutilized components that would have existed on within each separate array are eliminated and instead, are now part of a single large array and can be re-tasked to another client that needs the extra power.

This ability to optimize capacity is what gives cloud-based computing a serious edge over traditional storage systems. The service that is provided to each client can be rapidly scaled, up or down, too perfectly meet their needs. Ideally, when service is scaled down to accommodate a client, that unused capacity can be used to satisfy a client that is in need of a larger solution.

In this situation, in a traditional data center, hardware would have to be left idle, or taken off-line to accommodate the client that was downsizing. The data center would then have to decide if that hardware should be left unused or physically reallocated to a different array to serve the client who needs more power.

The ability of a cloud-based system to scale virtually can eliminate these situations. Software can be used to reallocate unused assets in a fraction of the time it takes to move hardware. Business benefit from a system that is perfect suited to their capabilities, Service providers benefit from a hardware array that is never underutilized and offers a simple way to re-task hardware.

Protecting all of this virtualizing are security trends that are continuing to evolve and adapt to modern threats. The public nature of the cloud is the single biggest factor that prevents businesses from trusting their sensitive data to this new technology. IT firms have adapted new methods of securing data and consulting outfits have be created specifically to help companies and IT firms find secure methods of protecting their data.

About the Author: Deney Dentel is the CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc. Nordisk Systems is the only local IBM Premier Business Partner based in the Pacific Northwest, specialized in all IT solutions including cloud computing services, servers manged service, storage and virtualization.

License: Creative Commons image source

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I can’t understand why many experts say that cloud computing is going mainstream. IT-wise, it might be going mainstream, but for the general public, cloud computing is still an alien concept.

Perhaps that’s why cloud providers stick to enterprise market. The market is there and they “get it” better. It’s easier to explain the benefits of cloud computing to businesses – that’s why the cloud is not too cloudy among businesses.

But what about individual cloud users? Users – especially young people aged 18-24 – are heavy user cloud services… iTunes, Dropbox, Gmail… yet, they don’t know what cloud computing is.

Want to know how confused we are when it comes to cloud computing? Just check out this infographic published by Web Fusion. They surveyed 1,000 people in the UK on cloud computing. The results are interesting.

It turned out that 50 percent just don’t know what cloud computing is – despite the fact that they are using cloud-based services on regular basis. Among them, 18-24 year-old respondents have the worst understanding when it comes to the cloud, even though they are cloud services heavy users.

Only 15 percent of respondents know the real meaning of the cloud (just in case you are wondering, the cloud means scalable hosting across multiple servers.)

Check this infographic for the cloud trends among UK residents (click on the infographic for the original size.)

cloud infographic
Via Web Fusion

I hope the above is quite explaining… if not, just read more; If you want more cloud 101, just heads up to our Cloud Business 101 section and be enlightened!

Just don’t be this kind of guy – seriously….

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cloud computing uk

In recent weeks there have been many stories relating to the fact that some of the world’s largest tech corporations are starting to invest in cloud computing platforms for a global audience.

Google and Samsung are just two of the companies that look set to offer individual users the chance to store data in the cloud, following in the footsteps of dedicated services like Dropbox and homogenously integrated facilities bolted on to other products, like Apple’s iCloud.

However, V3.co.uk reports on the positive impact that the growth of the cloud is having on smaller firms in the UK’s IT sector. It points out that the headline-grabbing nature of the big fish can often obscure the more modest, but no less significant successes, attained by budding businesses.

One such company that falls into this category is Interoute, which saw profits rise to £6.4 million last year, thanks to the uptick in cloud computing adoption rates.

CEO, Gareth Williams, said that 55 per cent of Interoute’s revenues are generated by the products which it offers through the cloud. He also said that not all of its clients are based in the UK, with international organisations like UEFA taking advantage of services which help the British economy.

Mr Williams said that he believes that it is possible to identify future trends in the implementation of cloud computing, with current predictions suggesting that video services that run on cloud platforms, will rise to prominence over the next few years.

Video conferencing is used by many companies which want to reduce the costs associated with having to travel to meetings and increase productivity because less time is spent on the move.

Mr Williams said that in 2011, about 15 per cent of Interoute’s revenue was based on video services and he anticipates that this will only increase in 2012.

Tablet devices like the iPad, which are becoming increasingly popular in the world of business, will help to put greater emphasis on video conferencing, according to Mr Williams.

While the FaceTime service offered by Apple is adequate for consumer use, in the business world, most would require something that is a little more powerful, scalable and suitable for more complex interactions.

This is something that Interoute and other companies are looking into developing, so that as demand for such services grows, they are able to meet the expectations of clients.

Interoute’s Terrence Wise said that most of its customers came from the small business sector, which suggests that there is a real desire amongst start-ups and fledgling firms to get a foothold in the market by harnessing cloud computing services.

Each day the company has to increase its capacity by the proportion that it began with, after its foundation 12 years ago, which hints at the stellar growth of the cloud industry in the UK and the border-crossing reach of this type of service.

Data security is still a major concern which is preventing some companies from migrating, according to Mr Williams. This does mean that growth, while strong, is still not quite as brisk as it could be, if fears over data protection could be allayed.

The good news is that ongoing work within the EC could eventually result in a continental law which ensures that information is properly protected when digitally stored, with a particular focus on addressing concerns relating to the cloud.

Once such legislation is in place, it will only be necessary for cloud providers to prove that they can offer a more consistent, affordable service than their rivals, in order to help the UK’s economy grow.

About the Author: Daisy Group Plc are an exhibitor at the 4th Cloud Computing World Forum, taking place on the 12-13th June 2012 at Earls Court, London. Daisy’s Cloud Product is better known as cloud select voice and has seen amazing growth during 2012.

Image: Brett Jordan / Flickr

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cloud computing trendsIn a short span of time, cloud computing has changed the way in which businesses and individuals consume computing resources. Cloud signifies a fundamental shift from a traditional model to a more dynamic model of consuming IT in which resources are more flexibly deployed than was the historical models.

In short, cloud computing refers to a convergence of technologies and trends that are making IT infrastructures and resource intensive applications more modular, and more consumable. The cloud offers business enterprises the opportunity to consolidate their IT operations and adopt virtualization technologies that lead to eliminate capital expenditure, better utilization of resources, instant access to the latest technology at all times, greater innovation, speedy deployment cycles and lower administrative costs.

What is the true meaning of the Cloud?

As with any major technology transformation,there are many definitions of cloud computing each with their own nuances and subtleties. In very simple terms, cloud computing is a new consumption and delivery model for information technology (IT) and business services that is characterized by:

  • On-demand self-service
  • Ubiquitous IT Infrastructure access
  • Location independent resource pooling
  • Rapid horizontal and vertical scaling
  • Pay-per-use

Cloud has evolved from on-demand and grid computing, while building on significant advances in virtualization, networking,provisioning and multi-tenant architectures. As with any new technology, the exciting impact comes from enabling new service consumption and delivery models that support business model innovation.

the cloud

The evolution of the Cloud

cloud computing history
Source: KPMG

The traditional IT ecosystem vs. the Cloud

Business environments are becoming increasingly complex and competitive. At the same time, the expectations of customers are also increasing. With companies now looking for new ways to enhance the quality of their products and services through IT, the traditional model seems to be inadequate. Sourcing and deploying IT systems and solutions, using the traditional model, requires large investments in IT infrastructure but may not result in the optimal utilization of resources. Furthermore, businesses not only have to setup an in-house (On-Premise / Hosted) computing environment but they also have to build / source IT teams to manage the same – thus adding on to costs.

IT cloud ecosystem
Source: KPMG

The Cloud on the other hand signifies a complete transformation from the traditional IT setup. It refers to the process of sharing resources (such as hardware, development platforms and/or software) over the Internet or other WAN technologies. The Cloud enables On-Demand network access to a shared pool of dynamically configurable computing resources. These resources are accessed mostly on a pay-per-use or subscription basis.

Virtualization is the first step to adopting the cloud. Services of the Cloud are made available through virtualization and provided on a usage-based pricing model. These resources can be quickly provisioned and easily managed, by the user, without any major inputs from cloud service provider. Customers sign standard Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with service providers of the Cloud to ensure availability of services based on certain guiding principles.

The Cloud advantage for business enterprises

Cloud computing liberates organizations to deliver IT services as never before. Cloud enables the dynamic availability of IT applications and infrastructure, regardless of location. More rapid service delivery results from the ability to orchestrate the tasks to create, configure, provision and add computing power in support of IT and business services much more quickly than would be possible with today’s computing infrastructure. Enhanced service delivery reinforces efforts for customer retention, faster time to market and horizontal market expansion. Cloud computing can enhance SOA, information management and service management initiatives, which also support service delivery initiatives.

Cloud computing also promotes IT optimization so that IT resources are configured for maximum cost-benefit. This is possible because cloud computing supports massive scalability to meet periods of demand while avoiding extended periods of under- utilized IT capacity. With the click of a mouse, services can be quickly expanded or contracted without requiring overhauls to the core data center. The benefits include lower cost of ownership, which drives higher profitability, enabling you to more easily reinvest in your infrastructure and answer the question, “How can I get more value out of my IT infrastructure investments?”

Cloud computing fosters business innovation by enabling organizations to explore quickly and cost effectively the potential of new, IT-enabled business enhancements that can grow with unprecedented scale.

Not only does cloud computing deliver a greater return on IT investments, but it also promotes more efficient and effective use of technical staff. IT managers can devote more time to business critical activities with the cloud service provider managing the IT infrastructure to support these activities. With its highly autonomic character, cloud computing eliminates much of the time traditionally required to requisition and provision IT resources.

Cloud computing also yields significant cost savings in the real estate required for the data center as well as power and cooling costs. Thanks to virtualization and the cloud’s capability of tapping resources (either through a private cloud or tapping publicly available cloud resources), data centers can rein in the relentless pressure to expand their physical footprint resulting in reduced energy consumption.

At the enterprise level, delegating commodity infrastructure and services allows organizations to focus on their core competencies and further develop capabilities that can differentiate them in their respective business markets.

Who is using the Cloud today?

More likely to have hybrid models where some things are kept in house: On premises data for legal and risk management reasons.

Can use clouds for numerous activities: compute cycles for R&D projects, online collaboration, partner integration, social networking, new business tools

Can use clouds for nearly everything: SaaS, IaaS, collaboration services, online presence

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cloud computingThere is no doubt that the cloud has changed the way we live and work. Further there is little doubt that the trend will continue and the cloud will simplify things for people and business with time. What the cloud is today, the evolution of the cloud and where it will go in future are all based on the history of the cloud. Instead of going in to all of that let’s take a look at the recent past, 5 major cloud computing trends in 2011 albeit with a difference…

Companies Used More Suppliers

Every business worth its while seeks to enhance efficiency and the cloud has taken many steps in that direction. Contrary to common belief that efficiency can be enhanced by reducing the number of supplier, cloud computing has busted this myth by helping companies to coordinate with a more diversified lot of suppliers thereby leveraging their ability to meet unforeseen circumstances and ensuing needs. The secret to this was the emergence of “community clouds”—an embryonic type of cloud computing that facilitates coordination between the activities of business partners over a secure platform.

Bootstrapping was the Way

The cloud helped individuals and companies with exciting ways to collaborate, develop products and test ideas very quickly and economically. The result? We saw a large number of startups mushrooming all over the place and an accelerated rate of enterprise development and creation. The speed at which people can determine what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it was perhaps one of the biggest gifts of the cloud.

Diminishing Language Barriers

Riding high on the wave of mobile penetration particularly in developing countries like India where the number of mobile users far exceeds the number of landline phone connections and myriad dialects and languages are spoken, cloud computing gave mobile-device users a level of speech recognition accuracy that is virtually on par with call center-based transcription services.

Language barriers began disappearing with free mobile applications that enabled people to cut across dialects and language through mobile devices where words of both parties are instantly translated into each other’s language using voice recognition and translation software.

Road trips Were Easier

Lost in unfamiliar territory, stuck in a traffic jam?…Cloud computing saved the day and improved the road trip for many a driver and travelers in 2011. Apps that let travelers see real time information about the speed and fuel usage of vehicles; send alerts about stops en route; notify users through text messages about road condition and hazards and select the best route helped make travel safe and easy.

App-infused Existence

Over the past year, the number of people who turned to their mobile phones as their preferred source of information grew dramatically. The need for information-on-the-go and the spawning of mobile applications have changed the way we look for and share information. Our existence per se became app-infused thanks to the power of the cloud…so we talked, sought feedback and basically lived in a dramatically different way.

The big players among cloud the forces were Google, Amazon and Microsoft and the emerging ones like AppZero, Enomaly, Long Jump and Vaultscape, Flexiant, Workbooks, CloudSigma and Cloudmore etc provided variety and flexibility in cloud computing to those looking for such solutions in 2011.

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2012 cloud computing trendsCloud computing has had a significant impact on the way modern day business is operated and run.  It has produced a large, rapidly growing, and competitive market place. Here is a look at where it is headed…

Large Volumes of Data Storage on the Cloud

As more and more companies migrate into the cloud there will be a greater tendency to use the cloud for data storage purposes and that will allow access from multiple sources. Apart from the volumes expected to be involved, there will be greater demand for speed, reliability and security. This will facilitate businesses that provide cloud related products and services such as content, provision of data, cloud services brokerage and other cloud services and applications.

While GoogleAmazon and Microsoft are all set to take advantage of cloud forces, some of the other emerging names that are creating the headwind in the cloud space are AppZero, Enomaly, Long Jump and Vaultscape, Flexiant, Workbooks, CloudSigma and Cloudmore, etc.

Emergence of the Managed Cloud

2012 will witness the emergence of the managed cloud.  Compared to the public cloud, the perks of the managed cloud vis-à-vis the private cloud is its design around a high availability (N+1) architecture which gives it built in resiliency.  Apart from this automatic failover and enterprise-level security options, it has greater appeal for IT managers who prefer hosting applications in a secure, managed cloud.

B2B Improved Agility

In a bid to boost business-to-customer (B2C) interactions companies are moving to social networking, mobile cloud and cloud services, a trend which enhances the agility on business-to-business applications. This also, propels the consumer-as-a-service (CaaS) platform as more businesses place greater emphasis on commerce APIs.

Greater Adoption of the Private Cloud

There is greater preference for private clouds among medium and large enterprises when it comes to cloud computing, security and compliance being major drivers for such preference. For enterprises that are moving more than a handful of physical servers to the cloud, private cloud computing by far is the most cost effective solution.

More Confusion About Cloud Computing

For all those who thought that a generally accepted definition of cloud computing would be available by the end of this year, it might be surprising to know that it is not so.  If you thought greater adoption of the cloud and peaking interest in it will bring clarity, this has only further expanded the definition of cloud computing.  With some claiming that cloud computing only represents the public cloud utility model and that private cloud computing doesn’t count for anything, others claim that the private cloud is most suited to most medium and large enterprises that seek to meet specific security and compliance requirements.

Security and Compliance Perceptions and Realities Remain Barriers

Security concerns are the top reason why many enterprises have not yet moved to the cloud.  The private cloud addresses this issue through dedicated data and network security.  For others to be more comfortable with the security options in the managed cloud world and the public clouds like Amazon there is still a long way to go as far as taking care of security concerns.

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cloud computing indiaIndia has always been technologically advanced among Asian countries, and this includes advances in cloud computing technology adoption.

I have just stumbled on an interesting interview between InformationWeek India and Pradeep Rathinam, CEO of Aditi Technologies – a company that has recently acquired Cumulux, Seattle-based cloud computing startup. The exclusive interview is basically talking about the acquisition, the cloud adoption and cloud computing trends in India.

What interests me from the interview is Pradeep’s insight on cloud computing adoption in India.

According to Pradeep, India will be a cloud-first IT market. He says that within the next 5-10 years, there will be more than 70 percent of his company’s new business will be cloud-driven. Moreover, 50 percent of his existing customers will migrate to the cloud within the next 2 years.

One of the blessings in disguise in Indian IT (and cloud) market is the fact that India’s IT infrastructure is not that prevalent. Thus, as Indian businesses are embracing technology and the Internet more than ever, the infrastructure that will be prevalent in supporting such growth is cloud computing.

Pradeep gives the boom in e-commerce startups in India as one prominent example: Snapdeal, Flipkart, etc. grows rapidly embracing the cloud as the main propeller of the growth; the cloud accommodates the online startups in term of traffic surges, transaction handling and more at more resource-effective manner.

What’s more, Pradeep tells us that almost every client his business has is actively looking for ways to go cloud – mobile, gaming, Web 2.0 properties, BPO, retail, etc. – nearly everything to the cloud.

Regarding the cloud types that will be adopted the most in India, Pradeep explains that currently, India is a big market for SaaS products. However there is a trend of Indian CIOs looking for ways to “upgrade” their companies’ legacy system – a great opportunity for PaaS solutions, like Windows Azure.

The future of cloud computing in India is bright, indeed. What do you think?

Image: Cloud Tech Site

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cloud computing trends 2012The economic downturn of the past few years has prompted companies to search for new ways to reduce their budgets, which is why cloud computing continues to grow increasingly more important by offering tremendous savings in the arenas of user connectivity, data storage, application usage and more.

This year has been especially good for the cloud now that a significant portion of the market has begun to adopt cloud services. Major enterprises are also turning to the cloud to handle large portions of data, and the companies that offer these services are becoming mature enough to handle the usage and security concerns that have made businesses hesitant to make the switch.

Now that 2011 is coming to a close, technology news sources have made several predictions for cloud computing in 2012 for both clients and service providers, and some have even claimed that the cloud will herald the dawn of a new app-based era in computing that will ultimately overtake the web. Here are a few of these predictions:

1. Legitimization

Gone will be the days when candidates can haphazardly claim cloud experience, as businesses will depend more on these services and start to look for those with credentials. While universities are still behind when it comes to offering cloud development coursework, this is expected to change dramatically next year.

Cloud companies will also have to show their credentials by providing legitimate services that back up their claims. No longer can they engage in “cloudwashing” to disguise services that are incapable of performing the functions of a true cloud now that experienced users are able to recognize the difference.

2. Budgeting

While businesses will save a tremendous amount on software, hardware, and IT personnel costs when switching to the cloud, they still face the challenge of budgeting for usage. Since cloud services are pay-per-use, enterprises will have to adopt a more cost effective model, especially when it comes to public usage.

3. Support

Cloud technologies are also expected to create a major upheaval in the IT department, as companies will no longer require a large in-house IT staff to manage their networks. Shadow IT will also become more prominent now that business leaders can invest in new services and develop them without direct IT involvement.

Government support may also change, and technology news sources predict that legislators will try to ban the use of nonresident cloud services as a way to preserve jobs. Enterprises that want to keep the cloud free will need to pay attention to these dangers, as some countries are already attempting this.

4. Showcasing

Corporate cloud projects and IT events such as CloudExpo are still used by developers to showcase their skills, but a growing trend towards small-scale development projects is changing the way businesses look for talent. More companies are expected to fuel this creative effort by hosting cloud services for these projects.

5. Testing

Cloud technology – while powerful – is less reliable, which is why technology news sources expect companies to adopt code testing practices from companies such as Netflix by inviting “Chaos Monkeys” to try and take down their core service. This will compel programmers to write more stable and efficient code.

Even though cloud technology has not reached the level of maturity found in client-interface and web-based computing models, it is here to stay because it offers a level of convenience and standardization that could revolutionize the way people do business.

Brandi Tolleson writes prolifically for various websites about technology, gadgets and media news.

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2012 cloud computing for business

I have covered about 2012 cloud computing trends, challenges and opportunities; in relation to the blog post, I have found a list of 10 ways how cloud computing will change the way we do business in 2012.

The list is courtesy of Forbes.com, referring to the article written by Joe McKendrick. Without further adieu, here is the top 10 list of how cloud computing will change our businesses – for better or worse – in the upcoming 2012:

1. Cloud computing is becoming mainstream

Get ready for the new buzzwords. As cloud computing is becoming mainstream, it is no longer viewed as a game changer; it is a requirement and a “normal” way to launch applications and services.

2. Many businesses will follow the federal agencies’ “cloud first” policy

US Government instructs Federal agencies to adopt “cloud-first” policy whenever possible – considering the best cloud solutions to cut the Gov’t IT budget; it is a success. So, expect businesses to adopt the same “cloud-first” policy when considering new system purchases.

3. Businesses urge to see the cloud ROI

Related to no. 1 above, as the cloud is considered as “normal” IT system, it will be placed under a (very bright) spotlight; businesses will demand business values out of the cloud (typically measured by ROI figures.)

4. Private clouds will grow faster than public clouds

As Virtualization increases across the business world, many companies with significant existing IT infrastructures or sensitive data assets will see private cloud model as the most effective and efficient way to go cloud.

5. Private clouds will make IT roles more important in business

Adopting new technology, such as private clouds will require IT execs and managers to guide the companies into the cloud. That being said, IT people’s cloud-related skills will be crucial.

6. IT departments will become both friend and foe of public cloud providers

Many companies will use both outside and internal IT services. IT departments will act as facilitators in adopting public clouds, as well as competitors to the public cloud providers in providing better value for the companies.

7. Lines between service providers and customers will be blurry

As more companies adopt private clouds, soon they will no longer be customers only, but also building and offering their own cloud services – just like what we see in today’s app store model.

8. Public clouds will be more secure than on-premise IT systems

Despite in-house data is considered to be more secure than those located in public clouds, it’s not likely to be the case now. The argument: The public cloud provider’s IT team is well-trained and well-certified to keep their own systems secure.

9. Accelerated economic growth as more businesses will be established in the cloud

The cloud is affordable, yet so powerful. Why invest a lot for your own system when you can have everything in the cloud? Now new businesses can quickly launch new apps and services from cloud platforms – affordably – without the time constraints and financial burdens. Want to start an e-commerce business? Just plug into the cloud; want to start any brick-and-mortar business, just plug your business back-end into the cloud.

10. Cloud will change how we outsource

The cloud allows businesses to outsource as needed, easily. Micro-outsourcing will be booming. That being said, the cloud lowers the barrier of entry for outsourcing service providers – thus increasing competition that will result in lowered prices. The outsourcing market will be a dynamic and lucrative market.

So, get ready for the big tide and be ready to ride the wave – the cloud is here to stay, and all you need to do is get on to your surfboard and start surfing (or else, get stranded and kicked out of the competition.)

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2012 cloud computing trends

As we are heading toward the end of 2011, we have seen that cloud computing adoption is no longer a trend; it is now a business requirement. RightScale, one of the leaders in cloud computing management, has confirmed it from their first-hand experience.

RightScale has just published a press release offering some key insights on what’s going on in the world of cloud computing in 2011 and what lies ahead for both cloud businesses and companies adopting cloud computing in 2012.

Here is the recap of the key insights, showing you the trends, challenges and opportunities in cloud computing adoption…

1. The Cloud has become a requirement

Many businesses adopt the cloud due to these 2 facts: The high availability and the effectiveness of the cloud solutions offered. RightScale reports that its average monthly revenue/customer increase by 2.5 times in the last 2 years – and there is no sign of slowing down. It’s a clear choice: Jump into the cloud bandwagon or be left behind.

2. Virtualization is just halfway point in the journey to the cloud

Cloud businesses need to be careful these days. As more companies are becoming more cloud-savvy and cloud-literate, they now realize that what’s on offer is now just half the story. Virtualization, an existing technology that get slapped with the label “cloud” by some cloud businesses (fake clouds) in their effort to gain market share, is just the halfway point in the journey to the cloud.

Businesses are now recognizing that it doesn’t deliver the benefits of a true cloud solution; they no recognize that true cloud solutions are those that are API-driven, offering everything on-demand – compute, storage, and network resources – delivered via automated, uniform layers of services.

3. Cloud service models converge

RightScale saw the trends that lines between Platform as a Service (PaaS) layer and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) layer has begun to blur as customers mix PaaS and IaaS elements in their applications.

4. Cloud customers can now have access to one, big cloud with many resource pools

There are now plenty of options to choose among cloud infrastructure alternatives that include public, private and hybrid clouds. As a direct result, more companies are now using more than one cloud. With the right partner to manage those clouds (RightScale can manage that for its customers,) businesses can now view the world as a single large cloud consisting of multiple cloud resources offered by cloud service providers.

5. Lack of visibility in cloud deployment

Companies need more visibility in their cloud computing adoption – the resource pools used, which employees have access to them, etc. Today, they know very little about the “nitty gritty” in cloud deployments. The risks of such lack of visibility are cloud availability, compliance and security issues.

6. Lack of official cloud standards

Despite the skyrocketing cloud usages, there are no official standards in cloud computing, including how cloud resources should behave. There’s a prominent risk of cloud lock-in and also other counter-productive issues. With proper standardization, cloud solutions will be easier to deploy, manage and maintain.

7. Offering self-service to users

It’s official: As a cloud business, it’s impossible to limit the availability and effectiveness of the cloud in an effort to strictly control cloud usage. That being said, the only way to go for cloud service providers in 2012 is to offer self-service capabilities for users while gaining the visibility (as mentioned in number 5 above) over the cloud usage and ensuring the cloud operational best practices.

There you go – 7 cloud computing trends, challenges and opportunities to watch for 2012. Cloud businesses – get ready to ride on the trends and offer real solutions for business. Businesses considering to adopt the cloud – get ready to jump into the cloud bandwagon as the cloud clearly offers plenty of benefits – and do so in the right way.

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