Growing popularity of private clouds
We anticipate companies outside of the usual IT circles will start to rely on the cloud in new ways to deliver their products and services to customers. The worldwide private cloud market is expected to grow by some 50 percent from 2013 to US$69 billion in 2018. The rise of mobile payments, growth of connected devices and the accompanied security considerations will transform vertical sectors in ways we haven't imagined yet. Nike shifted from being an apparel company to a connected lifestyle brand with its health tracking devices, and Starbucks became a major driver of mobile payments and content delivery. Their transformation was made possible by private clouds that enabled them to deliver the services their customers want. The popularity of the private cloud is also changing the way technology vendors operate. Juniper Networks and VMware are partnering to help customers manage their services through a single pane of glass, reducing data center network virtualization costs and accelerating the journey to the cloud. Expect more companies to follow their lead. And like any new technology, clouds have initially been built by technology leaders in high tech fields (web properties, financial services). In 2015 we will see clouds being built by all types of business, in all geographies-including some you might not expect such as, oil and gas companies like Hess. In 2015, private cloud building will become a competitive advantage across industries.
The race to the bottom begins
Microsoft recently announced unlimited cloud storage for Office 365 users. Amazon Web Services also continues undercutting the competition by lowering its prices. This is just the beginning of the cloud price wars and race to the bottom for pricing. We've seen similar things in the consumer mobile and broadband markets. In 2015, cloud providers will need to find new ways to differentiate and make money to stay relevant/profitable as the price wars intensify.
SDN in 2015
We're going to start see software-defined networking applied in more areas as the market and technology mature and more companies realize its value. One of Juniper's studies earlier this year found an aggressive appetite to adopt SDN. And sure, on the surface it's great for simpler network management and cost-reduction but what will companies really do with it? A key use will be that SDN (coupled with analytics) provides the agility to provision services in anticipation of customers' demands.
While the Internet of Things continues to steal the spotlight, the cloud comes out of hiding
When you think of the "Internet of Things," what comes to mind? An egg carton that texts you when it's out of eggs? A lighting system controlled by mood-sensing switches? Probably - since these quirky uses have grabbed headlines. But in 2015, expect to see IoT creep into the halls of enterprises - and it's because everything will finally start to talk to each other. Right now, communications protocols vary too widely for the ecosystem of connected devices to flourish. But as devices talk more with each other, expect to see a huge uptick in the amount of data generated in general. More data once analyzed can provide more insight and service providers will need network infrastructure capable of handling the surge in data to have the ability to draw actionable business insight.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.