Cloud Computing: def. the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.
As we stride beyond the Internet era into mobile technologies cloud computing emerges as a prominent player. So much so that the cloud has won the allegiance of the C-level and small businesses alike; “60 percent of companies say cloud computing is a top IT priority for next year. The sentiment is even higher among C-level executives with 75 percent reporting cloud computing as a top priority,” according to an Avanade study published in PC Magazine.
Meanwhile a Microsoft U.S. Cloud Trust report surveyed SMBs to find, “51 percent of cloud users said that since moving to the cloud they spent less time managing IT overall and 50 percent said they used fewer internal IT resources.” While “43 percent of cloud users said they wished they had moved to the cloud earlier.”
With promising studies and cloud adoption rates, this year and beyond will push cloud computing technologies to new heights. Here is a list of significant cloud computing trends and predictions every entrepreneur should consider:
BYOD and the Personal Cloud in Enterprise IT
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is making waves across enterprise and small to mid-sized business environments, and it gets a boost in 2014 by offering seamless accessibility, convenience, and flexibility with the cloud. As more and more end users consider storing private data into personal cloud services for syncing, streaming, and storage; those in the IT industry are contemplating to find new ways to incorporate personal cloud services using techniques such as Mobile Device Management (MDM); linking mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to a corporate network.
Cloud Containers are On the Rise
Cloud computing enthusiasts suggest this is the year that cloud computing and cloud container technology will take off in a big way, besides being utilized comprehensively in production. Container technology as such is nonetheless an easy way to spin applications up and down in a more efficient way. As SiliconANGLE writer Mark Wheatley explains, “Containers are the idea of running multiple applications on a single host. It’s similar to compute virtualization, but instead of virtualizing a server to create multiple operating systems, containers offer a more lightweight alternative by essentially virtualizing the operating system, allowing multiple workloads to run on a single host.” In short, containers simplify the deployment and management of cloud applications. A few prominent Container technology companies are ZeroVM (acquired by Rackspace) and Docker, to name a few.
Hybrid Clouds are Inevitable
Finally, the intense debates over public cloud vs. private cloud architecture in enterprise IT seems to reaching its logical conclusion. So, what is a Hybrid cloud? Hybrid clouds are architectures that combine the security of private clouds with the powerful, scalable, and cost-effective benefits of public clouds. In fact, experts believe that hybrid clouds can encourage many businesses to adopt a cloud-based infrastructure in the year 2014, as they are expected to open up a range of customizable solutions for IT decision-makers, while keeping both security hawks and big data campaigners happy.
Cloud-based ‘Identity Recognition’ to Improve
Even though cloud services offer a plethora of benefits like accessibility and high-power, with the consistent dominance of cloud-based applications influencing businesses, security policies call for a quick rethink. The year 2014 according to cloud technology enthusiasts opens up opportunities for innovative identity management solutions for cloud-based security. Providers seek to find the fastest path to identity management in the cloud with on-demand solution consisting of single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, directory integration, user provisioning and a catalog with thousands of pre-integrated applications.
Graphics as a Service to be Simplified
Typically, running high-end graphics applications calls for an enormous (and expensive) hardware infrastructure, which is experiencing a paradigm shift in 2014 – thanks to cloud computing. The prominence of cloud-based graphics technology companies (e.g., AMD and NVIDIA) will empower end-users to run graphically intense applications by simply using an HTML5 web browser.
Industrial Internet Possibilities to Take Off
Industrial Internet, a term coined by General Electric, is the convergence of machine and intelligent data and it is expected to reach real-time industrial processes and cut the shortfalls with smart data. This will not only enable industries to use real-time data for improving processes, but also utilize information to take necessary action. In short, cloud computing in 2014 plays a significant role in creating intelligent machines with centralized control.
Data Center Consolidation is the Next Driver
Data center consolidation (also called “IT consolidation”) refers to an organization’s strategy to reduce IT assets by using more efficient technologies and according to experts is set to become the new driver for private cloud computing, so as to enable even greater competences and cost savings. In fact, next-generation data center architectures will require logical infrastructure segmentation so as to enable multi-tenant private clouds; a tenant being any application that needs its own secure and exclusive virtual computing environment.
Single-Vendor Solutions Will
With cloud computing gaining prominence there is also an increased need for security – thus encouraging organizations to buy more solutions from a single vendor. Users believe that single-vendor solutions offer easier and faster relationships, better product integration, and improved vendor accountability. This, experts believe, will demand greater integration between solutions, thus automating security. Moreover, securing a cloud environment is very different from securing traditional physical environments; and is believed to drive greater consolidation in the market.
Implementation of Software-Defined Infrastructure
Businesses are looking for opportunities to implement software-defined networking as the next step in their journey towards complete virtualization. In fact, “it is an evolving line of technology poised to be worth $8 billion within the next five years, according to IDC’s latest estimates.” (Source: ZDNet)
Web-Powered Apps Are Here to Stay
Ultimately, when we talk of the emergence of cloud computing trends in 2014, and the easing of the Internet, policy becomes the primary focus. Here we can find cloud environments to be dynamic and workloads mobile, even between cloud providers.
You may however, find automated security based on embedded workload policy to be critical for the next stage of cloud adoption. Also, containerizing and virtualizing the application that is considered the next big thing in cloud computing is set to make things smaller, lighter and faster. It isolates each individual user in a separate container, and makes the development experience better. All in all, cloud computing has a bright future.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Carlos Wilson is a digital marketing strategist at MyFirstMobileApp, a mobile app development company focused on custom mobile app development and mobile apps marketing. His more than 5 years of mobile technology experience, love for blogging and interest in the latest developments in mobile industry makes him one of the most loved tech writers. Connect with @FirstMobileApp on Twitter.
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