As 2011 draws to an end, it is time to reflect on the past year and to predict what Cloud Cloud Computing will bring in 2012. This year has seen a number of changes in cloud computing, from the range of services available to the adoption of cloud computing. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce.com, Rackspace – all the major vendors have continued to improve both the scope, price and reliability of their services. The number of companies using cloud computing has also grown significantly. What has not really changed is the confusion that still surrounds cloud computing and also the concerns. The confusion is partly responsible for the concerns I firmly believe.
So why does there continue to be so much confusion around cloud computing ? I believe the reasons are two fold. Firstly, vendors use the term as a marketing tool even when not appropriate, and secondly, cloud computing is actually so many things that it is hard to clearly define. So how can this be resolved. Well my first prediction for 2012 provides what I think is the way forward to simplifying what cloud computing is. What any purchaser of computing/IT wants is a solution – they are not ultimately concerned wether it is Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), self hosted, on-premise, off-premise etc. The most important factor is does the solution satisfy the requirements, including cost, performance, security, governance etc. If the solution happens to be cloud computing then that is the delivery method that will be/should be chosen. If cloud computing is presented as a solution, rather than “as a Service”, it will be much easier to consider and evaluate. In many cases it will also be the best solution for users and organisations without the confusion. So my first prediction is that cloud computing will be sold as a solution rather than as services in 2012.
My second prediction for 2012 is that Big Data will become mainstream. As organisations gather more and more data, a lot of it non relational, the value that can be gained from filtering and processing this data will be realised. The processing will make use of solutions such as Hadoop and I predict 2012 will be the year Big Data moves towards mainstream.
This just leaves me to say best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2012.