When you wish upon a cloud: 3 cloud hopes for 2015

Sadly, these enterprise cloud predictions need to come true, but won't happen any time soon

It’s that time of year again, as PR people reach out to tell me about their client’s 2015 cloud computing predictions. Are you sitting down? Most revolve around whatever technology they sell. Shocker, right?

I figured I would take a different approach. Here are three cloud computing predictions for 2015 that have no chance of coming true, though they should.

1. Enterprises finally get a good grasp on cloud computing security

Everyone is interested in security, but they all figure it doesn't really work in the cloud -- yet no one in enterprise IT can tell me why. The fact of the matter is that most enterprise IT folks don’t have a good understanding of what it means to build a secure cloud, so they default to the “cloud computing is unsecure” reaction.

The cloud is as secure as you make it -- in the same way your enterprise systems are as secure as you make them. Ask Sony Pictures or the other big companies that saw their names splashed across headlines this year, as well as those that flew under the radar. None of the big-name hacks were due to cloud security issues; my guess is the unreported hacks took advantage of enterprise systems’ security issues as well.

2. Cloud architectures become simpler and easier to understand

The writing is on the wall: We’re headed for a complex, widely distributed architecture with cloud-based systems. The thought of everything moving from the enterprise data center to a single public cloud provider is growing more far-fetched each week.

No single cloud provider or single piece of cloud technology does it all. That fact will drive complexity. Enterprises will be forced into hybrid cloud and multicloud architectures, layers of governance technologies, layers of security technology, and many types of coupled and decoupled cloud and noncloud databases.

It’s already complicated, and it will get more so.

3. The cloud is determined to always be cost-effective

The ROI on cloud computing projects ranges greatly. Sometimes, the value is easy to define, and it comes quickly after deployment. In other cases, cloud-based solutions end up costing more than traditional approaches, but is not apparent until after deployment.

The trick is to run the numbers to figure out the value that cloud computing will truly bring to your enterprise. Factor in the cost of change, the cost of risk, and the use of an opex model versus a capex model. The cloud provides value most of the time, but not always.

Be careful!

Have a great new year, everyone. Enjoy the cloud ride in 2015!

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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