Cloud computing to go mainstream in 10 years?

Executives from the technology industry believe it'll be a while yet before cloud computing becomes the norm.

Future of cloud computing

It will take five to 10 years for cloud computing to become mainstream, but it is likely enterprises will always stay in hybrid environments using cloud and on-premises solutions.

That was the view of a number of leading industry executives at a cloud computing open day hosted today by BT.

Chris Lindsay, general manager of Business Applications at BT, told IT PRO: "No doubt, in 10 years cloud will be the dominant technology for businesses moving forward, but there will still be elements of hybrid environments."

He added: "In 10 years, I think we will see the move from the old world to the new world."

Phil Wainewright, chief executive of analyst firm Procullux Ventures, agreed with Lindsay.

"It will be five or 10 years at least until this becomes mainstream," he said.

"I started my career with the introduction of PCs and 20 years later we all take the PC for granted," he added. "The PC era or era of client computing lasted 20 years and I think this will be the same for cloud computing."

Tim Barker from Salesforce.com said the technology was already mainstream.

"This used to be a big trigger for the mavericks of technology but now every major software company is making a cloud offering in some way or another," he claimed. "As soon as you get incumbent players like Microsoft involved, it makes it a mass market [product]."

Until the technology does become a bit more mainstream, companies don't necessarily need to jump on the bandwagon, but they should at least make sure they understand the trend, according to the assembled panel.

"In the mean time I don't think anyone can afford to not know about it and evaluate its potential for them no matter what their final decision [on adoption] is," Lindsay said.

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