The cloud has maintained a high position on the IT to-do lists of executive decision-makers across the digital landscape, but as 2015 rolls around, these leaders are taking a new perspective on the technology and shifting priorities to fully embrace its power. Between data center consolidation efforts, cyber security challenges and mobile device utilization demands, IT professionals have their work cut out for them when it comes to the cloud, and the New Year will be a time to map out and follow through on their resolutions in every area of their tech footprint.
While cloud technology probably won't transform in 2015 - PaaS, IaaS and SaaS delivery models still reign supreme - the way that enterprise leaders leverage these services and the funding they direct towards their procurement and maintenance will likely see some shifts. According to a recent article from CloudComputing News, Forrester's "Predictions 2015: The Days of Fighting the Cloud Are Over" report shed light on the biggest trends sweeping the world of virtualization and cloud technology in the coming year, offering a pulse on this dynamic and fast-paced arena.
The source pointed to a handful of undercurrents determining the direction of cloud adoption and development, but noted that one of the most significant shifts is taking place in the mindsets of IT administrators everywhere - namely they are realizing that the cloud can be a complementary asset to data center layouts rather than an all-or-nothing decision. As business leaders recognize the dynamic potential of strategies such as hybrid cloud deployment and managed private cloud solutions, it isn't surprising to see the technology make its way into the IT department in new and interesting ways.
"In 2014, cloud entered the formal IT portfolio, and technology managers stopped treating cloud as competition," said Dave Bartoletti, infrastructure and operations analyst at Forrester, according to the source. "In 2015, cloud technologies will mature into the driving force powering the most successful companies."
Security ramps up
Aside from data center optimization and efficiency boosts, tech professionals are looking to bolster their network protection efforts by configuring their cloud deployments for better security. Traditionally, the cloud has been thought to fall short when it comes to defensive measures - a common roadblock for many potential adopters. As IT thought leader Robert J. Graham pointed out in a recent blog post, however, service providers are rarely the ones to blame. Bolstering internal protocols and best practices are the only sure-fire ways to keep information safe on the cloud.
"The culprits will likely be common process and governance failures such as poor key management or lack of training or perimeter-based thinking by your security department," explained Graham. "A breach of some form is inevitable. Whether the perpetrators find anything worthy of their effort is up to you."
Put simply, the vulnerabilities commonly associated with off-premise service providers have largely been sealed up as the cloud has gained momentum over the past several years. It's now up to executive teams to put strengthen their in-house security measures to ensure the mitigation of risk that directly affects their network infrastructure, whether it be internal threat, end user error or external groups acting with malicious intent. The importance of foolproof policy and education cannot be overstated in this regard.
A little help can't hurt
Between Forrester's predictions and Graham's security recommendations, there's plenty of work to be done for IT leaders as 2015 comes around. The future is in the cloud, but businesses will have to proceed with caution - ideally with the help of a dedicated service provider - to make the most of the technology.