5. It may not always be private
Private cloud is the natural first step toward a cloud network for many organizations. It provides access to the benefits of the cloud - agility, scalability, efficiency - without some of the security concerns, perceived or real, that come with utilizing the public cloud. But Bittman predicts that as the cloud market continues to evolve, organizations will open to the idea of using public cloud resources. Service-level agreements and security precautions will mature and the impact of outages and downtime will be minimized. Eventually, Gartner predicts that the majority of private cloud deployments will become hybrid clouds, meaning they will leverage public cloud resources. Meaning your private cloud today, may be a hybrid cloud tomorrow. "By starting with a private cloud, IT is positioning itself as the broker of all services for the enterprise, whether they are private, public, hybrid or traditional," Bittman says. "A private cloud that evolves to hybrid or even public could retain ownership of the self-service, and, therefore, the customer and the interface. This is a part of the vision for the future of IT that we call 'hybrid IT.'"
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.