Increased adoption of hybrid cloud computing models and innovation over cost-cutting are just some of the predictions from our panel of experts on key cloud computing trends for 2014.

As we look ahead to the new year, we asked six cloud computing experts for their big trends for 2014. Here’s what they came up with:

Werner Vogels, vice president and CTO,
The cloud allows everyone to become a media company: In 2014 expect a great rise in organisations that are adding media capabilities to their offerings. A good example is sports clubs; all are looking for ways to establish an engagement with their fan base beyond the two hours on a weekend. A successful way to achieve a weeklong engagement is by daily distribution or fresh, exclusive media content. The subscription revenues for clubs that often have millions of fans around the world are substantial.

Pete Baxter, UK managing director, Autodesk
Boosting international competitiveness: Access to the cloud is changing the way our design and engineering customers work. The cloud represents an opportunity to continue to boost our competitiveness in the international manufacturing market, enabling a new breed of designers to run cloud based simulations to refine their designs, collaborate with colleagues and partners in any geographical location and have access to unlimited computing power, without the previously prohibitive costs.

In my view 2014 will be the year that the cloud will enable a whole new set of innovations driven from emerging design companies as well as established names in the manufacturing sector as the true power of cloud based design, simulation and analysis as well as collaboration is realised and in doing so allows smaller companies to compete and win in a global market.

Adrian McDonald, president EMEA, EMC
Reducing the cost of IT: Fewer than 4% of enterprise IT workloads will move to the public cloud in 2014, with most efforts focused on private and hybrid cloud development. We also expect that successful organisations will use cloud to reduce the unit cost of IT by more than 38% , whilst the average time for new application deployments will be reduced by more than 20%. This reduction in cost and acceleration in agility will free IT up to innovate beyond its core service delivery duties, supporting the business with new services that make use of their cloud infrastructure, potentially delivering new revenue and growth.

Marc Dietz, director, IBM SmartCloud Solutions
Bringing advanced technology to all workers: Until recently, advanced IT solutions that were tailored for specific lines of business were unavailable to mainstream workers; but today, marketers, sales reps, accountants, and lawyers have direct access to the most advanced technology via cloud computing.

As a result, they can deploy these capabilities on their own, without support from engineers. When combined with a powerful, high value cloud infrastructure-as-a-service built on open standards, the scope, speed and scalability of deploying these solutions is magnified. By contrast, commoditised, proprietary clouds will not allow organisations to grow as business needs dictate so avoid them.

Joe Baguley, chief technology officer EMEA, VMware
More businesses make the move to a hybrid cloud: Earlier this year Gartner predicted that by 2017, half of large enterprises will be operating on a hybrid cloud model. In reality it could and should happen a lot sooner. A true hybrid cloud – which we will see appear in 2014 – should enable businesses to extend their data centres into the public cloud using the tools and processes they’re used to, while ensuring they can scale up or down and flex in and out as market opportunities and, crucially, regulations dictate. Businesses will finally be able to separate the IT functions they need to differentiate, while commoditising everything else, and manage them both in exactly the same way.

Keith Tilley, executive vice president, EMEA and APAC, SunGard Availability Services
Innovation over cost-cutting: For the first time in years we’re seeing optimism among businesses, the recession is in recovery and organisations are now looking at ways they can capitalise on the forecasted growth. Cost cutting is taking a back-seat to innovation – undoubtedly good news for the nation’s IT departments. Cloud is set to play a key part in this, with CIOs relying on its power and flexibility to help deliver bottom-line benefits for the business.

Additionally, our recent research found that 97% of business leaders believe that closer alignment between business departments can yield a competitive advantage – therefore I believe we’ll see a mind-set change in organisations as IT no longer operates in isolation but in partnership with the all areas of the business. Again, it’s good news for CIOs as greater collaboration will mean an end to the off-radar cloud spending that has contributed to the problem of critical data being left unsecured and the overall cloud strategy somewhat disjointed.


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