During the past couple of weeks, the SAP Cloud team has been collecting predictions for Cloud Technology in 2014 under the hashtag #CloudPredictions. In a sense we went shopping for THE Cloud Crystal Ball.
2013 – Security Complacency and the rude awakening
At the start of the year nobody could have predicted an Edward Snowden, or the impact his whistle-blowing would have on international politics and business.
It felt as if people (and organizations) worldwide woke up and took a long hard look at where their data is stored, where and how their applications are run and which security checks and balances are in place. This brought a very different focus to the Cloud & Security discussion. In a sense it became personal.
It could all have gone horribly wrong with a tremendous loss of confidence & trust in the underpinnings of international business (the internet, let’s face it), but it seems that the IT industry is instead rallying and providing better safeguards (The Future Of Global Cyber-Security Is In The Cloud & 5 Tips to keep your data secure on the cloud) as well as launching alternative regional (Cloud for Europe launches as SAP backs EU rules on data privacy) initiatives. Competition is always good, as long as there are standards in place to ensure interoperability and choice for customers (What’s Next For The Cloud? The Intercloud).
2014 – Cloud is Ready for Business
Common to all the predictions we collected, was a strong sense that Cloud Technology will become strategic to the business, not only as a new cost saving IT delivery mechanism, but as a business innovation accelerator (2014 Forecast: Business Gets Strategic About The Cloud).
There was also a clear message that when Business starts to leverage the Cloud, the decisions will be pragmatic rather than religious, therefor the non-hype of Hybrid clouds. They are simply an accepted reality of doing business in a complex world. As James Marland said: ‘“What’s your Cloud Strategy?” wrong question for 2014. Ask “What’s your Business Strategy“’.
Business would love to have a big crystal ball to tell the future (who would not). Here Business has a huge advantage: massive amounts of data that till now took long to analyze, was too far away from the point of impact and difficult to interpret. Enter Big Data, Predictive Analysis and Data Visualization (14 Things to Watch in 2014 & 4 Ways of Making Predictions about Predictive Analytics in 2014 ).
Your Personal Cloud Experience
But how would the Cloud impact YOU, dear Reader? From your career (Top 10 HR Technology Trends For 2014 ) to the things around you (Internet of Things – Gartner’s Top 10 IT Trends Of 2014 & Embracing the Internet of Things) to that that you make or are made for you (3D printers – 14 Things to Watch in 2014) to what you wear (The Big Data of You) – you will be supported by, pushed into, prodded by, play in and work with the Cloud in 2014.
So maybe 2014 will be the start of a Ubiquitous Cloud Age! (Thinking in terms of a single year is far too short-sighted)
List of resources: many thanks to these authors who shared their thoughts with the broader Cloud community
Schalk Viljoen – SAP Cloud Social Media