The General Trends of Cloud Computing (Cloud Connect 2012)

When you cover a conference like Cloud Connect 2012, it is sometimes overwhelming to see so many things and people in a matter of a few days. It is generally a good thing to collect or receive a large amount of information. The downside is that it is hard to digest it all and condense it into a good, high-level understanding of the trends, in this case, of the state of cloud computing.

Different people use different methods to sort out the information. I cheat a little bit by pinging experts for their opinions. At Cloud Connect 2012, I had an opportunity to catch both Mark Thiele and Tim Crawford for interviews. Even though the interviews were short, I got a very good summary of the state of cloud computing.

Interview with Mark Thiele, EVP Data Center Tech at Switch (Credit: Sharon Chan, Nethawk)

I asked Mark to list the three biggest trends. Here’s his top three:

3. Management of cloud resources with some risks of building large-scale infrastructures rapidly, involving things like networking and licensing.

2. Organizational changes to accommodate new environments caused by adopting cloud computing.

1. Acceleration of cloud computing growth by the mobile segment and opportunities for business.

See the actual interview here (roughly three minutes):

Interview with Tim Crawford (Credit: Sharon Chan, Nethawk)

Questions to Tim were regarding new IT and the CIO’s role when cloud computing is adopted. A short summary follows.

  • Cloud computing and the consumerization of IT are a blessing to IT and not a curse.
  • Changes that involve technology processes and organizations are hard to accept.
  • IT can take on a new role as a knowledge worker by outsourcing noncore functions to outside providers.
  • Although the changes will take some time to happen, after they have, IT will finally be a strategic enterprise weapon.

See the actual interview here (roughly three minutes):

Both Mark and Tim said that cloud computing will change IT substantially. The changes are not just in the technologies but also in how work is done (process) and how departments are structured. After all, cloud computing has a lot to do with operations. Both experts said that after the changes, IT will be reborn into a new stage that will be a welcome change.

Mark’s points about cloud management and mobile are very noteworthy. As cloud evolves from public to private and then to hybrid, many more variations and combinations of clouds are formed. Some private clouds may be on-premises but others may be off-premises. People may want to mix and match several public and private clouds at the same time. This will require good cloud and resources management.

The mobile market is rapidly growing, which accelerates cloud computing.

I have interviewed more people from several companies and will write about them in future blogs.

Zen Kishimoto

About Zen Kishimoto

Seasoned research and technology executive with various functional expertise, including roles in analyst, writer, CTO, VP Engineering, general management, sales, and marketing in diverse high-tech and cleantech industry segments, including software, mobile embedded systems, Web technologies, and networking. Current focus and expertise are in the area of the IT application to energy, such as smart grid, green IT, building/data center energy efficiency, and cloud computing.

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