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Predictions for 2012


Now that 2012 has started and that we have recovered from our year end celebrations, let me wish you all a wonderful 2012. Despite the challenges ahead of us, may this year allow you to fulfill both your personal and professional wishes.


It’s the time of the year when we look back at the previous year and make predictions. On the CloudSource blog I reviewed predictions from many sources and came up with 5 cloud related themes for 2012. Here I want to be a little more daring and give you my 10 personal predictions for the year. I hope you allow me.


  • Cloud is moving beyond the peak of inflated expectations. After having spent 4 years there in the Gartner Hype Curve, cloud is finally moving forward and becoming mainstream. Enterprises are slowly but surely moving beyond proof of concepts and dev. & test cloud experiments and are starting to use it to do "real" work. Many SMB’s have already been experimenting with cloud for a while and start-ups rely mostly on cloud for their IT.
  • Private cloud adoption is progressing fast in enterprises. The current financial crisis and its needs to reduce costs are great allies to push larger enterprises to use cloud, and for most this means private or hosted private cloud. So we will see a boom in the implementation of clouds within enterprises in 2012. This may result in a shortcoming of professionals having cloud experience, which in turn will delay some of those implementations. As companies move beyond virtualization, they will realize the full potential of their IT environment.
  • Legislation to make public cloud more transparent will appear in 2012. Public clouds are traditionally not transparent in their mode of operation. In particular security and compliance policies cannot be audited and reviewed. Legislation will appear to address that and other issues related with the use of public cloud. The result may be more discrepancies between the legislations of different regions, making the adoption of true global clouds more difficult in the short term.
  • Shadow-IT is getting visible. CIO's will recognize and address the potential security and compliance issues resulting from shadow-IT, but it will force them to improve the agility and responsiveness of the IT infrastructure and organization. That in turn will help the adoption of cloud.
  • The debate moves from infrastructure to services. Where-as in the past, most cloud related discussions had to do with how a cloud would be developed from an infrastructure and software perspective, I see the emphasis moving to the consumption of actual services. In other words, the perspective becomes different. It's no longer about the implementation of one cloud, but about how and what services best address the needs of the enterprise, up to a certain extent, regardless of where they are consumed from. This is a big shift that will have lasting effects on the IT organization itself. The CIO is slowly but surely becoming the “Strategic Service Broker” and will implement service governance with the business.
  • OpenSource clouds appear on the horizon. To avoid vendor lock-in, larger enterprises with important IT staffs are starting to use opensource based cloud environments and tools such as OpenStack. Such implementations are not cheaper than the others as reduced license costs are offset by additional development and maintenance staff, but leave the enterprise in full control of their stack. In particular telcos and other service providers are moving that way. It will be interesting to see how this progresses in 2012 and whether opensource turns out to be a true competitor to the current private cloud offerings.
  • New applications are developed in the cloud. IDC predicts that in 2012 over 80% of new commercial enterprise applications are developed on cloud platforms. SAP, Oracle and the other large software providers start investing drastically in cloud to counter the start-ups providing next generation applications as a service. It looks like HR might be the next battleground although it is not clear at the moment how the privacy issues are addressed.
  • The concept of community cloud is making inroads. An increasing amount of initiatives to develop clouds for a community of companies appear on the horizon. Being it for the banking, the financial services, the food industry or for education, a number of platforms are being built to allow members of the community to share information and collaborate together.
  • Big Data will be the term of 2012. Big Data is there to stay. Some of that data will be in enterprises, but a large majority will reside in the cloud and be accessible to many organizations. Analytics, its corollary, will be very popular. Companies may finally have the tools to thoroughly analyze the data they have to take appropriate decisions.
  • Social Media is getting attention. Companies will slowly but surely start understanding that no one can truly analyze a market without looking at social media. Enterprises will slowly put in place the appropriate watchdogs to review what is being said about their brand, their products and their services on twitter, blogs, forums etc. This will get companies one step closer to their customers.

These are my 10 predictions for 2012. You may agree or disagree. I'd like to have your feedback and understand where you are coming from, so don't hesitate to comment. In the meantimehave a great start of 2012.

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