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Looking forward - Cloud computing in 2011

The economic downturn has forced many organisations to radically reassess their approach to IT management. It would not be surprising if this trend continue throughout the economic recovery.

We expect to see a growing focus on blending cloud infrastructure and other managed infrastructure services with legacy-owned equipment, allowing smooth migration away from owning more IT infrastructure than is essential.

During 2011, we predict:

1) There will be an increase in “cloud seeding,” in which small, fast-developing projects built in the cloud rapidly become mainstream, leading to cloud-based services becoming pervasive “by stealth.”

2) IT teams will come under pressure from corporate compliance to shift applications from “credit card cloud” to systems in which full, layered security can be implemented.

3) Demonstrating effective cloud governance will emerge as a core competence for IT teams and suppliers. Highly automated policy enforcement and management tools will become essential to deliver the promised benefits of cloud for serious enterprise use – without them, system administration costs could actually rise with the deployment of cloud.

4) Smart enterprises, as they are going through budgeting processes, will begin to assume that IT costs can be coupled to revenue, without excessive upfront capital outlay. This adjustment of finance models should contribute to releasing the logjam of service development and IT projects currently held by resourcing assumptions. This freeing of cash flow and development could provide a boost to economic recovery plans.

5) Initial development will increasingly take place in the cloud, where the final system will reside to eliminate rework that often occurs though prototyping on publicly accessible cloud platforms.

6) Growing pains will lead to first-generation cloud deployments being reappraised as awareness of several crucial cloud complexities grows and users realise that elastic capacity alone does not make the perfect environment for all applications.

7) Enterprises will adjust their approach to purchasing cloud capacity to ensure that they can deploy applications suited to their business methods rather than modified to the needs of their cloud platform.

Where do you see the cloud next year?