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The Cloud in 2013
As the New Year rolls around, technology experts and observers look towards the next twelve months and try to pinpoint what the key developments and trends will be. 2013 is no different; blog posts and articles proliferate, each giving an opinion on what they think 2013 will hold. One of the main topics for discussion is the cloud. 2012 was most certainly the year when the cloud really began to take off in enterprise settings. What most commentators agree on is that 2013 will be the year that the cloud extends its reach; that it will solidify its presence in business and will reach a much wider general audience. Here are some of the most popular predictions, among bloggers, experts and commentators, about how the cloud will change and evolve in 2013.
1. The Rise of Personal Clouds
Most observers agree that it will not just be businesses that will increase their use of the cloud, but the general public will start to utilise cloud services for their own uses. Cloud storage will be one of the biggest developments in 2013 with many more people choosing to store their content and data in the cloud. This development can already be seen in the popularity of online storage sites and in Apple’s push towards the iCloud on their devices. The personal cloud will become the centre of a person’s digital life and we may see something of a move away from the ‘personal computer’.
2. Choosing Hybrid Clouds
Continuing on with a movement that took off in 2012, more users will choose to customise their cloud use. There will be more of a move away from set, predetermined cloud services and a move towards choosing the functions and services that work best for you and your business. Customers will be choosier about what they want in the cloud and how they want to use it. Utilising multiple clouds will become the norm. Hybrid clouds will become a more popular choice than public or private clouds.
3. Less Use of 'Cloud'
Many experts are of the opinion that the trend of adding the word ‘cloud’ to different terms and services will fade away. Cloud technology has matured enough that ‘cloud’ no longer has to be in every product name or company title. Some commentators have even suggested that the term ‘as-a-Service’ (e.g. Infrastructure-as-a-Service) will also fade away.
4. Benefit to IT Business Professionals
In the early days of the cloud there was a great deal of talk about how it could spell the end for IT professionals. If everything was in the cloud, what would there be left for IT workers to do? However, some observers have pointed out that this is not the situation that is likely to emerge. It is more probable that as businesses adopt cloud services they will require IT departments even more. IT managers will be particularly useful as they will have the technological knowledge but also the business know-how to successfully implement and integrate the cloud.
5. Lack of Cloud Skills
What will help IT managers to stay in demand may also be a disadvantage for some businesses. IT managers will be sought-after for their IT skills and their business knowledge but there may be a general lack of employees with these skills. Universities and training programmes do well to give individuals useful IT skills needed for the cloud in a business environment, but many will not be equipped with the business experience or knowledge to develop or decide how the cloud should be used.
6. Vendor-Wars: A Thing of the Past?
Some observers have claimed the 2013 may well be the end of struggles between different vendors for majority control of the market. As more customers begin to understand the need for multiple or hybrid clouds, they will also begin to use different vendors or providers for different services. Instead of trying to fight each other, 2013 may see vendors working together with a cloud hosting provider and ultimately providing a better and more customisable service.
7. Cloud: The Green Option?
There is an increasing focus on the ‘greenness’ of technology, specifically the amount of energy used by massive data centres across the globe. In 2013, cloud may come to the fore as something of a green option. Though cloud data centres do still use a great deal of energy, the collating and distribution of resources in cloud computing means that less data centres on the whole need to be built. Steps are also being taken to improve the green credentials of data centres in general.
2013 & The Cloud
There are, of course, many other predictions made for the upcoming year. Some claim that businesses will utilise private clouds more effectively and will save money by having them managed and hosted off-premises. Others say that the cloud will become the central method for backup and disaster recovery. Though some of the predictions made about 2013 will not come true, 2013 will most definitely be a big year for the cloud.