Cloud computing is maturing and, as it struggles to take the next bold step forward, cloud providers will differentiate themselves through specialization, predicts Vince DeLuca, CEO for Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider.
IT departments today are defined by how their users access and consume technology and how that access impacts the business’ overall performance. Moving to “the cloud,” for many, has meant a slow transition, often testing the cloud with generic providers.
Cloud providers will soon be forced to adopt a specialty focus, offering solutions tailored to individual applications, and vying to be known as the best for certain specialties: mobile sales applications or DRaaS, for example. The battle for dominion over these capabilities and innovations is heating up, and CIOs and their organizations will be the beneficiaries.
Cloud Trend: Specialization
Click through for five ways maturing cloud technology will impact you, as identified by Logicalis CEO Vince DeLuca.
A buffet of choices
Since most early uses were not for mission-critical applications, when cloud computing first made its appearance, enthusiasts found “safe” ways to test the waters with things like R&D and test/dev. Line-of-business managers, seeing the cloud as a safe alternative to a lengthy IT approval process, also began buying needed software as a service (SaaS) or IaaS platforms with a credit card, bypassing IT. Now, as trust for the cloud has grown, many IT organizations are deploying full mission-critical workloads in the cloud; today’s is a new cloud with a buffet of choices.
More innovation, lower pricing
With increased support for mission-critical uses, a plethora of choices in cloud services and offerings from private to public to hybrid, and a widening range of standards including OpenStack, CloudStack and others emerging to make cloud deployment more efficient, an epic battle among cloud providers is brewing. The outcome? Innovation that soars to new heights while prices fall.
The battles will be at their most fierce at the midpoint between IaaS and SaaS – the point where infrastructure is developed and tuned for specific applications. Just as IT pros have traditionally purchased data center equipment to serve specific workload needs, cloud computing is now set to follow. This means “fit-to-purpose” cloud solutions in a hybrid model rather than their “one-size-fits-all” predecessors will offer a myriad of opportunities not previously seen.
More consultative CSPs
Organizations will look for a different kind of help, and a new breed of cloud service provider (CSP) will emerge. This new provider will be able to consult with users about the best way to build a cloud environment for their needs, and will be able to talk them through the steps of the IT transformation journey it takes to get there. And they will be able to help them build, manage and operate the cloud platforms they design together. Tomorrow’s cloud service providers will be judged much more critically, and will compete in terms of specific purpose-built capabilities. Users will seek the cloud service providers who deliver the best IaaS for a particular application or as-a-service offering and will choose based on those very specific requirements.
User experience is paramount
User experience (UX) will be one of the most important factors in cloud computing in the near term, something that CIOs and IT pros are becoming increasingly more aware of as they re-engineer their IT departments to deliver the computing capabilities their users need with the as-a-service ease they’ve come to expect. Price will always be a factor, but as a new cloud era emerges, application-centric development and performance as well as UX will play equally important roles.