Realising the future of cloud computing

The journey from an excess of choice to everything as a service

Cloud building blocks

The explosive growth of cloud computing may overwhelm some enterprises, as barriers to adoption are removed and more providers and services enter the market. Consumers are trying to find IT services that are flexible and can be managed consistently but don't require lock-in. Some providers, meanwhile, struggle to stand out from the crowd and identify their ideal target markets.

"SERVICIFICATION" AND THE GROWTH OF CLOUD COMPUTING

The growing presence of cloud computing in business is undeniable, due in large part to the growing "servicification" of almost every aspect of IT, as traditional delivery methods shift to service-based solutions. Cloud computing offers a way for companies to cut costs, become more agile and exploit new markets quickly and efficiently. The diversity of cloud computing services prompted in part by competition between providers and in part by new technology means that companies of all sizes are now able to find solutions that fit their needs and their budgets.

The message is getting through to enterprises. Based on research conducted among 250 senior IT and business decision-makers in 2013, 69 per cent of organisations were formally adopting at least one cloud-based service within their business.

The same percentage of enterprises with cloud computing already in place were predicting spending increases into 2014.Governments are also seeing the potential: in 2012, Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, unveiled a package of measures worth 160bn to help the development of cloud in the EU.

It was part of an initiative to become "not just cloud-friendly, but cloud-active", she said. Despite this positivity, there remains some uncertainty in the market. Among consumers, ignorance about the cloud is striking; in the US, fewer than a quarter of those surveyed

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