As rapid technological advances continue to shape and reshape the state of the art of cloud computing, it becomes more and more challenging to predict new trends and applications. And while most would agree that the cloud computing animal we know today will be a totally different species by the end of 2014, where it will look like is anyone’s guess.
Despite the day-to-day and minute-to-minute developments, there are a few conclusions we can draw and trends we can predict for the coming year, without going too far out on a limb:
* Cloud technology will continue to become more cost-effective and more accessible to mainstream businesses. As the technology improves and more players enter the space, companies will quickly realize they can’t pass up the attractive ROI that the cloud promises. Cloud brokers will be able to offer a wide range of robust aggregation, integration, and customization services to firms with the skimpiest of budgets. According to Mark Dietz, director of IBM SmartCloud Solutions, mainstream workers, including sales reps and accountants, are using the latest applications, thanks to the access provided by cloud computing.
* Cloud identity management will be strengthened. As security risks and threats grow, the industry needs to find a workable, scalable solution to tackle the complicated issues of access and privacy. The success and future of this technology is dependent upon how safe companies and users feel trusting their sensitive data to the cloud. Already companies are springing up offering innovative solutions designed to reduce threats and protect privacy, and we can expect to see a lot more emerging as the year progresses.
* Everything will be interconnected. Cloud technology will go far beyond simply integrating all of our mobile and computing devices; it will soon find its way into virtually every piece of machinery we use. Do not be surprised when the operation of our refrigerators, air conditioning units, and toasters are all driven by technology stored in the cloud.
What will the cloud look like at the end of 2014? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. To predict anything beyond that timeframe, we may need to consult our science fiction authors for ideas.