Not to be left behind, Forbes has rolled out its predictions about cloud computing in the coming year. Interestingly enough, I think nearly all of these predictions herald great opportunity for the channel, but see what you think:
More Hosted Private Cloud – Somewhere between complex private clouds and Amazon will evolve a new option: hosted private cloud. I don’t know if I consider this a new trend; many solution providers and MSPs developed that option for their customers early on, especially those in verticals where security and privacy are paramount. But for those of you still searching for a differentiator, this may be one avenue to explore.
Cloud And Mobile Become One – I don’t think most of you need Forrester to tell you this trend was gaining momentum. Let’s be honest, mobile apps live in the cloud, and the cloud is pushing mobile apps as must-have option for nearly every organization. The question for you is where you can offer value around this trend. Is it software development, security, interoperability? Think about that.
The New PCs – Personal Cloud – This is rooted in a Gartner report in which the firm says cloud will replace the PC as the location for most folk’s personal content. While your end users may have used their work PC to store personal photos before, now those photos are in the cloud. How does this impact the channel? I don’t think it does, except around security since end users will be accessing more and more websites where their data is stored, and those are not always highly secure.
More Cloud Services Brokerages – We knew this already, right? Those of you aggregating cloud services for your customers are doing well; those of you still planning out a strategy for that need to get on it and fast.
Rise Of Industry-Specific And Community Clouds – Of all these predictions, this one I found most interesting. A couple months ago, I shared the announcement that NASDAQ was building a private cloud offering for its member organizations that addresses their storage concerns while also offering high levels of security. That’s the perfect example of this trend. I expect you see it happen in any vertical that must answer to compliance, as well as those with unique needs.
Cloud Talent Shortages Looms – I don’t think I need to draw you a picture about why this situation should make you gleeful: “The unavailability of appropriate IT talent is being exacerbated by an expansion of technology procurement from IT to business units and consumers. The IT team is no longer just a team of system administrators, DBAs, network managers and application developers but must also include service delivery managers, contract managers, relationship managers and business analysts.”
“Cloud” As A Defining Term Fades – Finally, no more of those ridiculous “To the cloud!” ads. Forrester predicts the industry will stop tossing the phrase “cloud” around willy nilly and actually start classifying those tools that are truly cloud powered as such, and leaving the rest alone.