Gartner's Five Key Cloud Trends the Enterprise Needs to Know

The rapidly evolving cloud ecosystem poses significant challenges, as well as great opportunities, for the enterprise segment, according to a new report from Gartner. Monitoring and adapting to cloud computing trends is one of five key, accelerating trends Gartner identifies that will prove essential to enterprise organizations over the next three years.
"Cloud computing is a major technology trend that has permeated the market over the last two years. It 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. "Cloud computing has a significant potential impact on every aspect of IT and how users access applications, information and business services."
Gartner's five essential cloud computing trends of enterprises follow:

  1. Formal Decision Frameworks Facilitate Cloud Investment Optimization: The range of benefits cloud computing promises include a shift from capital-intensive to operational cost models, lower overall cost, greater agility and reduced complexity, according to Gartner, as well as freeing up IT resources and refocusing them on higher value-added activities. Realizing them requires careful examination and mapping them 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, however.
  2. Hybrid Cloud Computing Is an Imperative: Coordinating and combining external cloud computing services (public or private) and internal infrastructure or application services-- hybrid cloud computing, " could lead to a unified model in which there is a single 'cloud' made up of multiple cloud platforms (internal or external) that can be used, as needed, based on changing business requirements. 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.
  3. Cloud Brokerage Will Facilitate Cloud Consumption: Cloud computing's greatest impact may be felt in enterprise IT departments, which need to remold and refashion themselves, Gartner says. Business line units are increasingly going to need guidance, advice and assistance, and internal IT departments can become cloud services brokerages (CSBs) to these internal "customers," an intermediary role that's already taking shape, Gartner notes.
  4. Cloud-Centric Design Becomes a Necessity: Enterprises need to go beyond just migrating existing enterprise workloads to a cloud system and/or an application infrastructure, according to Gartner. "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."
  5. Cloud Computing Influences Future Data Center and Operational Models: Enterprises will be well served by adopting cloud services providers' practices and standards when it comes to building their own data centers, Gartner says, recommending that "enterprises apply the concepts of cloud computing to future data center and infrastructure investments to increase agility and efficiency."

"The trend and related technologies continue to evolve and change rapidly, and there is continuing confusion and misunderstanding as vendors increasingly hype 'cloud' as a marketing term," added David Mitchell Smith, another vice president and Gartner Fellow. "This level of impact, confusion, uncertainty and change make cloud computing one of Gartner's top 10 strategic technology trends to address."

Written by David Raucher at 12:00

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