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5 cloud computing predictions for 2016

Bernard Golden | Jan. 21, 2016
CIO.com’s Bernard Golden looks into the near future of cloud computing. Here’s what he sees.

The salty tang in the air is the fragrance of a sea change in IT – a tidal shift that will change the role of IT and IT participants over the next five years. I believe that 2016 will go down as the year in which the future of IT appears out of a murky, dank, blinding fog into the clear sunshine of the shape of things to come. And it’s safe to say that no traditional IT practitioners – vendor and enterprise IT organization alike – will emerge unscathed from this transition. 

Here is what we’ll see in 2016: 

1. Death of the enterprise public cloud 

For years incumbent vendors pooh-poohed the rise of AWS, dismissing it as the sandbox of immature users – SMBs and startups. When AWS became too large to dismiss so blithely, incumbents vendors (both on-premise giants like HP and hosting providers like Terramark) proclaimed that what “real” users needed was an “enterprise cloud” provided by an organization that “understands enterprise needs.” 

This led to several years of conference booths splashed with taglines like “XXX delivers the enterprise cloud” and “YYY enterprise cloud: delivering the best cloud infrastructure.” The clear implication of these taglines was that AWS does not provide a really robust cloud sufficient to enterprise needs, but that these companies understand what enterprises require and have built infrastructure to deliver it. Part of the value proposition was commonly use of “enterprise” gear from Cisco and EMC, in contrast to the use of commodity kit by AWS and its cousins like Google and Microsoft; most of the “enterprise” CSPs also used a software infrastructure based on VMware. 

There’s only one problem with this: Enterprise IT organizations showed little sign of preferring these “enterprise” offerings, and the proof of this is this year’s actions:

 

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