In the same vein, as MDM applications increase their dominion over mobile assets, the scope is likely to expand toward "internal" fixed-location assets, such as desktops, servers and peripherals. This means that best-of-breed applications now running in the cloud will connect with more assets for control, then offer overall audit responsibility for compliance and regulatory control. This segment explodes.
Similarly, we see a trend toward combinations of MDM as well as identity management in applications. Microsoft's System Center is an example of an unreleased but announced product meeting this trend, but it also has competition that's lighter on its feet on the horizon.
The cloud host providers, managed services organizations, will be an increasing broker of cloud "stack services" that allow rapid application development and deployment for persistent applications, while on the other hand offering stack allegiances with various industry initiatives, like OpenStack. Tools that leverage development frameworks and platforms also will increase, brokered by MSO/MSPs to deliver more comprehensive solutions.
These offerings will include desktop as a service, which lets especially tablet devices become "full members" in application deployment schemes. MSPs and other hosting organizations will offer an increasingly diverse set of Internet logons to walled-garden applications utilizing various administrative and management schemes. The DaaS goal will be to use any kind of device to access applications uniformly via the Internet. Smartcard and bio-authentication devices for multiple-factor authentication to DaaS services will also grow as dictionary attacks and sniffing tools become an onerous crack in security.
The final bit of growth in cloud in 2012 is likely to arrive in the form of education, and standardized education leading to credentialization for cloud implementations. Cloud is becoming a large enough concept with sufficiently different applications to become a discipline in and of itself -- apart or augmented with data center principles.
Henderson is managing director for ExtremeLabs, of Bloomington, Ind. Henderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.