At a recent conference Asher Baig, of GigaOm categorically stated that cloud is indeed now mainstream. I still think it is getting there for many use cases but that very soon the human change and adoption process will have accelerated and cloud consumption will be commonplace. Future of Cloud

It’s interesting to take a step back and look at the Internet. As Jeff Vance states, “Back in the mid-90s, the Internet was borderline useless for most people. There were no decent search engines, just aggregators that sorted popular sites into major categories like “sports” or “news,” and no decent mail clients, just so-so services from the likes of AOL and Prodigy.”

Cloud when first introduced was a bit like that as well. You had access to some hardware, but someone was handling it elsewhere. With some manual planning, some back and forth, you could actually get the resources you needed for a website launch (although this might have taken a few months). But that’s all changed – now you provision and de-provision, scale up and scale down all through one user interface whatever compute, storage or network resources you need – with a credit card. Certainly for some use cases cloud has gone mainstream – think Dropbox as a major example. Use of cloud services is everywhere.  As personal cloud consumption increases through the way people work or engage on devices, we will also see a corresponding expectation to do the same at work. And this is good for cloud. Within the same article by Vance, Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA said “Just before the iPhone 6 is released, do you know what the carriers will do? Every single one will set up a pre-order site, and those sites will be in the cloud.The advantage here is obvious. You can throw up a site like that whenever you want, scale it up with demand, scale it back down as demand tapers off – all on the fly.”

This cloud example fuels business. These carriers, as one example, will retain and grow their customer base through cloud. The same holds true across many industries. In fact, 49% of respondents in the Future of Cloud Computing survey are using cloud for revenue generating or product development activities. And cloud is strategic to both vendors and users. As a result, more business apps are transitioning to the cloud – 65-70% of respondents will move some of significant process to the cloud in the next year or two.

Back to the point of cloud becoming mainstream. It’s not IT departments that are necessarily driving cloud. In fact, often it’s others – sales and marketing, customer service and business analytics are all being moved to the cloud. Why? The main drivers are agility, cost, scalability and a shift from a CAPEX to OPEX model.

Cloud is here to stay. It is becoming mainstream and consumption is increasing.  What we eventually call it in a few years may be debatable but service providers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this rapidly emerging model.

Read our series on moving beyond VPS which outlines what service providers need to do to offer IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The future of cloud is already happening – so get on board or get left behind.


Image Provided by: Corey Leopold

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