4 Game-Changing Cloud Computing Predictions

Cloud computing has quite possibly received more press, acclaim and hype than any other contemporary IT movement, and decision-makers have not let up in their enthusiasm about these revolutionary products and services. Between the agility of Software-as-a-Service, the efficiency of virtual machines and other network-enhancing data center optimization techniques, you've probably seen the benefits of the cloud in many of your own IT contexts. However, the cloud still has a long road ahead in terms of development and functionality, and you need to be prepared for the changes to come.

InformationWeek recently released the 2014 edition of its State of Cloud Computing Survey, revealing huge leaps in the IT world over the past two years. To help you gain a clearer picture of the implications of the survey findings, here are four more in-depth predictions that will likely affect your cloud decision-making in the coming years.

1. More IT leaders plan for cloud:

While you may have been ahead of the game in terms of cloud adoption in the early stages of its lifecycle, it's going to take more to differentiate yourself from the competition as more business leaders make these tools their own. InformationWeek's survey noted that only 22 percent of companies lack a cloud strategy. As cloud becomes increasingly popular in the enterprise, it may be time to diversify your cloud outlook to include more robust disaster recovery or remote access capabilities to separate your firm from the pack.

2. SaaS becomes a major player:

The secret of SaaS is out, and executive teams are constantly looking for the next quick-hitting application to boost productivity across the workforce. The source noted that 64 percent of companies use SaaS at the moment, an impressive leap from the 57 percent adoption rate in last year's survey. Don't look to others to gain the edge with this delivery model, however - keep a close eye on your operations to determine where SaaS can fill in gaps in communication or workflow. These applications are all about satisfying unique business needs, not overarching goals.

3. PaaS finds its proper place:

Platform-as-a-Service is undergoing a bit of a transitional phase, according to InformationWeek, as decision-makers begin to recognize the complexity of these offerings. Initially offering an integrated environment for developers and administrators, PaaS has failed to live up to its potential as enterprises encounter difficulties with previously leveraged solutions. If you can work out these compatibility issues, however, expect big things from your PaaS deployments.

4. Hybrid takes center stage:

Still have expensive legacy systems hanging around in your data center? Hybrid cloud can let you retain the value of those capital investments without sacrificing the advantages of the off-premise universe. Business 2 Community contributor Dario Zadro recently noted that by embracing the hybrid methodology, you can enjoy the customized reliability of in-house servers while still leveraging third-party provider services to stay ahead of the curve. This best-of-both-worlds approach to cloud is the way to go if you want to make a steady, calculated transition.

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