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2015: The year cloud computing becomes mainstream

Cloud computing isn’t new: ComputerWeekly, in a short history of cloud computing, reports that the idea first came about in the 1960s from J.C.R. Licklider, well known for his enabling the development of ARPANET (a major precursor of the Internet as we know it today).

Licklider’s idea was eventually to interconnect everyone on the planet to data and information at any site, in any location. Sounds a lot like the “cloud computing” don’t you think?

The ComputerWeekly article adds that others believe the cloud idea came from John McCarthy, a computer scientist and one whom many consider the “father” of the discipline of artificial intelligence, who came up with the idea at about the same time as Licklider of the delivery of computation services coming from a public utility.

Yet the Internet grew slowly in the 1960s, ’70s and ‘80s, only starting to come into full flower in the 1990s, with what the cloud history article calls the first “milestone” toward cloud computing, the arrival of the CRM Salesforce in 1999.

So why do we believe 2015 is the year cloud computing will really go mainstream?

Level 3 Communications last year surveyed more than 200 IT professionals and found that 34.1 per cent said they were then administering and running cloud applications. What’s more, 43.3 per cent of survey takers said they were “on their way” to doing so.

More importantly, 31.5 per cent of survey respondents said they already were managing internal critical (emphasis ours) applications in the cloud, while 66.4 per cent said they were either taking a look into or even already planning or even implementing similar deployments.

Want more? Microsoft, 451 Research, the UptimeInstitute and the Yankee Group surveyed more than 2,000 IT professionals from around the globe (in 11 countries, but with 35 per cent of respondents from the U.S.) and found that almost half of those surveyed had a plan for implementing cloud computing that already had gone beyond the pilot phase. What’s more, most respondents said they would opt for cloud solution that is more of a “hybrid” instead of choosing one cloud method over another.

The survey also found that about 45 per cent of the organisations said they were already beyond the pilot stage, while 32 per cent said they had a “formal” cloud computing plan.

What does all of this mean for your organisation?

A few things:

  • As the cloud move more and more into the mainstream, more providers will pop up to compete for your business.
  • Poor suppliers of cloud computing services will fall by the wayside – whether because the service itself is poor, the company’s execution of the service is poor, or the firm’s customer service is poor – leaving only the best providers of this important service.
  • Cloud security will improve; organisations will demand it.
  • Many organisations now create their own cloud platforms, adopting internal clouds. This is likely to change as more secure hosted private platforms become available, especially as these platforms probably will have more “bells and whistles” than an in-house cloud application can provide and also will be more secure than the current “public” cloud platforms (i.e. Dropbox).

Daren Boozer is CEO and President of NCC Data.