Five Cloud Computing Trends Affecting Cloud Strategy Through 2015 - Slide 2

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The cloud promises to deliver a range of benefits, including a shift from capital-intensive to operational cost models, lower overall cost, greater agility and reduced complexity. It can also be used to shift the focus of IT resources to higher-value-added activities for the business, or to support business innovation and, potentially, lower risks. However, these prospective benefits need to be examined carefully and mapped against a number of challenges, including security, lack of transparency, concerns about performance and availability, the potential for vendor lock-in, licensing constraints and integration needs. These issues create a complex environment in which to evaluate individual cloud offerings.

Continual monitoring of cloud computing trends, with regular updates to the enterprise's cloud strategy, will be essential to avoid costly mistakes or miss market opportunities over the next few years, according to Gartner, Inc. Although the potential for cloud computing is significant, the breadth and depth of the impact, as well as the level of adoption over time, are uncertain and will require frequent review.

"Cloud computing is a major technology trend that has permeated the market over the last two years. It sets the stage for a new approach to IT that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they'll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models," said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Cloud computing has a significant potential impact on every aspect of IT and how users access applications, information and business services."

"The trend and related technologies continue to evolve and change rapidly, and there is continuing confusion and misunderstanding as vendors increasingly hype 'cloud' as a marketing term," said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "This level of impact, confusion, uncertainty and change make cloud computing one of Gartner's top 10 strategic technology trends to address."

Gartner has identified five cloud computing subtrends that will be accelerating, shifting or reaching a tipping point over the next three years and that users must factor into their planning processes.

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