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10 Cloud Predictions for 2013 by Russ Miller

01/09/2013 by: The SunView Team

Today, our guest blogger is Russ Miller, CTO of SunView Software. His recent blog post, Cloud Predictions for 2013 is republished in The ITSM Lens.

Last year was an exciting year for cloud computing, and 2013 promises to be even more exciting. For me personally and the company I am the CTO of, 2012 was very exciting because we made the leap from just being a user of the cloud to hosting software for our customers in the cloud. We are now a SaaS vendor with a lot riding on the future of the cloud. As such, I am working hard to stay on top of the trends in cloud computing. I decided to make a few predictions based on the trends I've observed so that I can look back and see how in tune I am with the trends.

1) Amazon will continue to lead IaaS, and will continue to drop prices on their IaaS. Meanwhile, Amazon will continue to move beyond IaaS, with services like its recently announced Data Pipeline. These offerings help differentiate it from the MSPs that are starting to offer commoditized IaaS based on OpenStack.

2) Most large, risk adverse companies will continue to avoid the public cloud and delay gaining important expertise they will need to compete. Ideally they would re-architect significant portions of their business in the cloud to gain strategic advantages, but that will not happen this year, maybe in 2014. These larger companies will continue to view the public cloud tactically, and too risky.

3) The number of cloud based services will continue to go through the roof. Innovative entrepreneurs are daily deploying cloud based solutions for problems most of us did not know existed. In many cases, only the largest companies could afford to automate these relatively obscure problems, but now, the corporate developers that solved these problems in-house are setting up shop, offering the solution to smaller companies. This trend will accelerate in 2013.

4) The greatest growth in adoption of the public cloud will continue to be in those that decide to subscribe to SaaS. The old decision was "build versus buy", now it is "build versus subscribe". PaaS and IaaS will continue to grow, but as SaaS vendors perfect their ability to offer highly configurable, multi-tenant solutions that can more easily be tailored without requiring a programmer, these SaaS applications will be readily adopted. The adoption will largely be driven by the lower prices and faster innovation of these SaaS offerings compared to building a custom solution directly on PaaS (or in-house).

5) When companies do decide to build rather than subscribe, most of the cloud development work will occur on aPaaS. As part of this, PaaS vendors will more clearly be classified as aPaaS (application PaaS) and iPaaS (infrastructure PaaS), with being aPaaS and Elastic Bean Stalk, Google AppEngine, and Azure being iPaaS.

6) The increased use of the public cloud by ever larger corporations will emphasize the need for more control by IT on governance, management, and monitoring of cloud usage. Just as purchasing of office supplies and travel gets centralized as a company grows, so will use of cloud services. The Wild West was eventually tamed-consumerization of IT will also be tamed. IT has been on its heels for the last few years trying to understand the cloud and its usage, in 2013 they will start to get out in front of it. Governance, management, and monitoringare gaps not fully filled by IT tools vendors, this gap will be closed in 2013.

7) In 2013, Apple will make strategic acquisitions to gain the experience they need, and finally start to offer viable cloud services. Apple has struggled in the cloud. They lack the expertise at an architecture and development level to succeed there; they will have to acquire their way out of it.

8) Microsoft Azure will remain a surprisingly strong contender. It appeals to those that do build their own cloud services from scratch because of the great tools and underlying technology. Not to mention the relative familiarity to the army of existing Microsoft oriented shops. Meanwhile, IBM, HP, and Dell will strengthen their offerings, but also continue to only attract adoption from their existing, loyal customer base.

9) Adoption will continue despite the highly publicized outages and data breaches that will continue to happen; because there will still be better up-time for most of these customer of the public cloud than they could ever achieve by self-hosting. Even a year ago, this was not true yet, but all the major IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS vendors made huge strides in 2012.

10) The industry will realize that the real value of the cloud is not simply cost savings or time to deploy, but rather is a whole new paradigm that offers greater agility and faster innovation. The public cloud provides a nearly limitless pool of computing resources in a highly connected fashion that allows for completely new solutions upon which companies can afford to experiment and make mistakes at a much lower cost and at a faster rate-and agility and innovation are all about making mistakes and learning from them more quickly.

You may also want to listen to a recent Architectural Concepts Podcast episode where I spoke about some of these same points.

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