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Gartner highlights five trends that will shape cloud computing

Jack Loo | April 3, 2012
Hybrid clouds, cloud brokerage providers and cloud-optimised applications are among the five listed from its report.

Research firm Gartner has published five points from its report Five Cloud Computing Trends That Will Affect Your Cloud Strategy Through 2015 that it says users must factor into their planning processes.

"Cloud computing sets the stage for a new approach to IT that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they'll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models," said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

The five cloud computing trends from Gartner are:

Formal decision frameworks facilitate cloud investment optimisation

The prospective benefits of cloud computing need to be examined carefully and mapped against a number of challenges, including security, lack of transparency, concerns about performance and availability, the potential for vendor lock-in, licensing constraints and integration needs. These issues create a complex environment in which to evaluate individual cloud offerings.

Hybrid cloud computing is an imperative

Gartner recommends that enterprises focus near-term efforts on application and data integration, linking fixed internal and external applications with a hybrid solution. Where public cloud application services or custom applications running on public cloud infrastructures are used, guidelines and standards should be established for how these elements will combine with internal systems to form a hybrid environment.

Cloud brokerage providers to facilitate cloud consumption

A cloud services brokerage (CSB) is a service provider that plays an intermediary role in cloud computing. Gartner expects this trend to accelerate over the next three years as more individuals, whether they are in IT or a line-of-business unit, consume cloud services without involving IT.

To address this challenge, Gartner believes that IT departments should explore how they can position themselves as CSBs to the enterprise by establishing a purchasing process that accommodates cloud adoption and encourages business units to come to the IT organisation for advice and support. The enterprise CSB approach can be implemented by modifying existing processes and tools such as internal portals and service catalogs.

Cloud-centric design becomes a necessity

Many organisations look first for opportunities to migrate existing enterprise workloads to a cloud system and/or an application infrastructure. This approach may provide benefits where the workload has a highly variable resource requirement, or where the application naturally lends itself to horizontal scalability. However, to fully exploit the potential of a cloud model, applications need to be designed with the unique characteristics, limitations and opportunities of a cloud model in mind. Gartner advises enterprises to look beyond the migration of enterprise workloads to the creation of cloud-optimised applications that fully exploit the potential of the cloud to deliver global-class applications.

Cloud computing influences future data centre and operational models


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