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Cloud trends for 2014

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I know it’s a statement that has been made many times, and I’m not saying anything new when I say “In 2014 businesses will embrace the Cloud to deliver cost scalability, agility and cost savings.” However, in my role as Product Director and, having spent time preparing my recent Webcast on Cloud Trends for 2014, it’s clear that Cloud Computing is universally accepted – with the barriers to adoption, such as security fears, now largely dispelled… I haven’t heard anyone say, “The Cloud won’t last” for some time.

For those that haven’t seen my webcast, feel free to watch it here. If you don’t have 40 minutes to spare, here’s a shorter overview:

Firstly, one of the key points to make about 2014 is that the economy is expected to improve. The vast majority of CIOs seem to agree that the financial crisis is finally behind us, and we can now look forward in a more constructive fashion and invest in the provision of IT, invest in new relationships (and not just look) at cost cutting at every corner.

In fact, for the first time in 3 to 4 years businesses are actively increasing their IT budgets, with 78% saying that if it wasn’t staying the same it would be increased.

Innovation is now the key to ensuring that the end user receives a better service than in previous years.

CIOs and businesses must work hand in hand to accelerate business change, and as their relationship matures they will be better equipped to drive the innovation agenda in the next twelve months – businesses need IT departments, and IT departments need businesses, they can no longer operate in isolation.

Additionally alongside innovation, businesses must continue to focus on recruiting and retaining new and good innovative talent.

As young people leave our schools, colleges and universities full of ideas; and as the IT workforce undertake new projects and learns new skills, the preconceived ideas on how things should be delivered will disappear. With the new models for service delivery becoming the defacto standard. It’s absolutely vital for businesses to enhance and embrace these required skills and make sure that they are driven into the business as well.

80% of CIOs see responding to new business needs and technologies in 2014 as their main focus, again showing that innovation and business growth are absolutely crucial.

It is now important for CIOs to realise the full potential of new technologies, and to think outside of the box. To do this, they need to ascertain who out there can assist, partner with, and help them build strategies to grow the business without a huge amount of cost and time spent. Because of this I expect outsourcing to gain further momentum this year.

Statistics show that businesses are adopting new technologies, with the highest rates of 30 to 40% seen across mobile, private cloud and social media.

However, 40 to 50% of businesses are still in the research and evaluation stages – although they have made initial steps they are yet to respond to this and make changes that will drive innovation forward. I predict that those who ‘dipped their toe in the water’ during 2013 will now ‘actively embrace’ new technologies.

Evidence shows that customers have started to use the cloud, and we are beginning to see a broad scale deployment where entire production systems have been moved into the cloud – the trend is in progress at the moment. In 2014, businesses will integrate the cloud into IT portfolios and develop strategies that embrace it and empower business agility.

I strongly believe the future is bright for cloud technology as businesses use it to drive agility forward… (you will) reach new buyers and drive life into aging systems.

‘The public cloud will be the default for the internet of things’

Predictions for the cloud itself are:
• Cloud-based disaster recovery will go cloud-to-cloud, with little remaining on site
• Cloud security will become more centralised and automated
• Businesses will shift from public cloud use to private cloud
• The majority of businesses are quite happy to entrust a third party service provider to deliver the application to their end user

These predictions are echoed by the London School of Economics which suggests that there will be a fundamental shift towards the cloud over the next 10 years and that focus will switch from cost to innovation.

We’re already witnessing this shift, with all new products being cloud-enabled as standard and cloud services being offered by the biggest providers.

If you started to invest in Cloud in 2013 I believe you’ve made the right decision, and if you haven’t, now is the time to start doing so, nobody wants to be left behind.

Watch my full webcast on Cloud Trends for 2014 here.

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