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Cloud 2015: Top Five Considerations

As 2014 winds down, cloud spending is up. That’s the word from research firm IDC—as reported by IT Jungle, cloud spending will reach over $56 billion this year and won’t stop anytime soon. By 2018, predictions peg the cloud as worth $127 billion, and that’s just counting “core” cloud services such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Cloud-based peripherals, the Internet of Things and other cloud initiatives are also on track to make an impact; here’s a quick look at top cloud considerations for the coming year.

Getting SaaS-y

Digging deeper into the IDC data, it’s easy to spot a trend: SaaS dominates both current and future spending. For example, of the $127 billion projected total spend in 2018, more than $100 billion comes from SaaS. What does this mean for your business? That any cloud consideration must take into account SaaS offerings. In the last few years, the SaaS market has shifted from one primarily concerned with the cloud-based conversion of existing apps into a unique and innovative space.

Case in point: Seeking Alpha notes that the traditionally hardware-heavy video transcoding market is rapidly shifting to SaaS alternatives. While market as a whole is headed for 20 percent CAGR, SaaS-based video transcoding revenue is expected to triple this growth. Bottom line: SaaS was out in front through 2014 and shows no signs of slowing down.

The New Networking

According to a recent ZDNet article, one critical cloud consideration for 2015 is networking. Reporting on a Verizon study, the piece noted that while cloud technologies were becoming more sophisticated, CIOs must “ensure their networks are capable of distributing increasing workloads among multiple datacenters as applications are moved to the cloud.” In other words, cloud services aren’t enough on their own: video on-demand, task automation and the rise of optical network technology such as LTE and 200G means you can’t afford to run next year’s technology on last year’s network.

Cloud Brokerage

Expect 2015 to be a year of cloud outsourcing. Beyond just accessing cloud services, many companies are now looking for ways to outsource and automate this technology.

There are several key drivers behind this consideration, starting with local IT. While many IT professionals are now “up to speed” with the cloud and have lost much of their reticence when it comes to adoption, there’s still a disconnect between managing local services and handling off-site resources. As a result, there’s real benefit to hiring a trusted cloud service provider (CSP) to handle the details and leave IT pros to focus on the big picture. A second driver here is accessibility. Many CSPs have the buying power to negotiate with multiple cloud vendors, giving companies the ability to design SLAs that meet specific needs.

(Co) Location, Location, Location

You may have heard rumblings about the colocation data center market, but in the next few years there will be a full-on shake up. Guru Focus reports that the colocation market is rapidly growing, and will be worth $50 billion by 2019. Why does this matter now? Just like managing in-house cloud services, enterprises are quickly coming to realize the cost and effort involved in maintaining a cloud-capable data center. The right colo provider combines physical security, future-proof networking and carrier neutrality to help prevent cloud vendor lock-in. The other big colo benefit? Hardware is always owned by your company, meaning you won’t get caught in the cloud crossfire if a government agency wants access to your data: they’ll have to come to you directly.

Changing Terminology

The last big cloud consideration for 2015? A change in terminology. Smart Data Collective notes that hybrid clouds are quickly becoming the norm, as the terms “public” and “private” cease to have any real value. But this trend goes beyond a new label. Instead of a cloud “type,” companies now view clouds as a collection of services, on-demand and delivered as required. Cost, SLAs, open or closed architecture—everything is mutable.

By David Eisner, President & CEO at Dataprise, Inc

He founded Dataprise in 1995 and has led its growth from tiny start-up to recognized leader in providing managed IT services to small and medium-size businesses.

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