A Cloudy Outlook for 2013

Remember when a “cloudy outlook” was thought to be a bad thing? That’s since changed, and in the world of emerging compute architectures, a cloudy outlook no longer has negative connotations. In fact, cloud continues to enable growth and innovation by presenting a low barrier to entry for startups and new market opportunities for existing companies.

The year ahead is fantastically cloudy but will require some rethinking and, in some cases, rearchitecting to fully embrace what cloud has to offer. With that in mind, here are our top three cloud predictions for 2013.

Cloud Prediction #1: Operational delight in public cloud will likely cause companies to rebuild true private clouds.

Organizations will likely invest substantial time deciding how to extend their current virtualization strategy to give them the required cloud capabilities, and some may even consider replacing their technology outright if a migration or augmentation path cannot be found. Though not an inexpensive undertaking, organizations would do well to consider absorbing the short-term financial penalties for early adoption against the long-term financial and operational benefits of properly defined cloud architecture.

Cloud Prediction #2: New IaaS players will accelerate the IaaS war and drive considerable focus on multi-cloud portability.

Customers are going to be pushing their providers to allow them to liberate their servers, application, and data so that choice of cloud service provider is their decision. Providers, of which there are now many to choose from, aren’t going to go out of their way to help organizations liberate their data, but they’re not exactly going to prevent it, either. In fact, most providers have some tools to help prospective customers migrate their information away from a competing cloud provider to their own platform — in most cases, free of charge.

Cloud Prediction #3: Auditors will become more knowledgeable about cloud and focus heavily on SaaS and IaaS implementations within large enterprises.

To better help their customers, auditors and assessors will need to ramp up their cloud knowledge ahead of official guidance from regulatory entities such as the PCI SSC. There are numerous training classes and free training resources available from well-respected organizations such as the SANS Institute, the Cloud Security Alliance, and other independent sources that can help expedite the knowledge transfer.

More details about our predictions, and reasoning behind them, can be found here.

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