Why 2013 won't be the year of the cloud

Last year saw cloud make its way into the enterprise, but talk of a year of the cloud may be misguided, argues Maxwell Cooter.

With these predictions of what's going to happen, it's time to predict what's not going to.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes's attempts to bring harmonisation to the European cloud market are going to end badly. She's hoping to make progress in three areas: cloud standards; cloud contracts and data protection, but this will be a tough ask.

There's little doubt that harmonisation on cloud standards would be useful, but government attempts to impose standards on the industry have generally not been a success remember OSI anyone?

The world remembers how SMTP proved infinitely more attractive than X.400. There will be some sort of cloud standardisation, but not next year and not one promoted by any government.

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Similarly, there will be much resistance to the idea that there's a standard cloud contract, another example of interference where it's not needed. A drive towards a common European take on data privacy would be useful but this could be tough nut to crack there are far too many vested interests at stake.

The fact that governments are looking to get involved whether through the UK CloudStore or the EU's attempts at regulation are a sign that cloud computing has now reached the mainstream.

Talk of the year of the cloud is a bit of diversion - it's a glib marketing phrase, but real life isn't like that.

What is the case is that cloud is making its way into enterprises in a big way. We may never have a year of the cloud, but cloud will never be far from the enterprise.

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