Cloud computing continues to transform the way organization are doing business, proving to be a transformative innovation for many enterprises. Considering how far the cloud has come in recent years spurs questions of what the future will look like and what types of changes we can expect. Many are speculating about the pace of cloud adoption and what services and capabilities will become available in the future.
Some believe recent reports of online surveillance and data breaches at popular cloud applications resulting from hacking could impede the growth rate of cloud adoption. But we believe recent events will lead to further innovations that will bolster security and corporate control and this will allow more companies to confidently move important processes online, ensuring the cloud continues its path of fundamentally transforming corporate IT. Broadly, the future for cloud computing will include clearly defined and standards-based security solutions and technology that will enable enterprises to retain full control of their sensitive information assets while continuing to move more business functions online (thereby reducing IT and other costs). This year’s The Future of Cloud Computing survey by North Bridge, gave some great insights into what might be coming for the cloud and I’ve added a couple of additional ideas below.
Increase of Public Cloud Vs. Private Cloud Applications
At the enterprise level, the use of public cloud applications will continue and increase across IaaS, Saas and PaaS. Private cloud will continue to be the preferred approach where feasible, but at the enterprise app layer (applications like CRM, Human Capital Resource Management and IT Service Management) public cloud SaaS apps will reign. As more companies enter the cloud application provider space, they will work to gain critical competitive advantages over the rest of the pack and enterprises will benefit from the associated innovations providers produce.
These innovations will allow enterprises to more fully employ public clouds and unlock the true potential they have for their organizations. So it is clear that we’ll see large companies increase adoption of both private clouds and a series of critical enterprise-grade public cloud options, making the hybrid approach the most popular model.
Improved Security and Reliability of Cloud Computing
While more companies are benefiting from the cloud and while the big cloud application providers have very secure data centers to secure data at rest, some companies have experienced well publicized security and reliability issues – including failed migration of data to cloud applications. In the coming years, cloud application providers will proactively tout the improved security and reliability measures they are putting in place. In fact, you’ll see them visibly differentiating on security and compliance. Cloud processes and techniques for securing data in motion will be dramatically improved. A key part of this will be ensuring that a variety of protections and risk mitigation techniques are available to enterprise customers that will require a multi-faceted approach to controlling their data stewardship and application use. Giving enterprises the ability to control data assets, throughout their entire lifecycle, in motion at at rest, will allow cloud providers and their ISV partners to address legal and legislative blockers to cloud adoption.
Auditing and monitoring will also be improved and more predictive and alerting capabilities will be built directly into the cloud services. We’ll see a rise of cloud security brokerage capabilities designed to safeguard cloud use and empower IT and Security organizations within the enterprise. Being able to anticipate issues and proactively address them with the appropriate remediation techniques will permit secure, uninterrupted use of the world’s most powerful and pervasive cloud services.