Cloud adoption will fundamentally transform IT organizations. Locations, jobs, positions, skills and the self-understanding of IT’s role in the 21st century are dramatically changing. The next decade will see more changes for IT than the function has seen since its inception in the 1950’s. Read my lips: proficiency in the basic elements of the cloud will be a requirement for all CxO roles in the next ten years. Embrace the cloud or face disruption.
This shift is happening already. Most vendors have transitioned to a platform zone, which has allowed them to create middleware platforms. The consequence is that Platform as a Service (PaaS) will disappear even more as a market category in 2015. CxOs need to be aware of the benefits, but also the lock-ins, that come with using cloud as a middleware platform. At the same time, OpenStack will lose its unity as the participating vendors see more economic benefits for themselves by differentiating beyond the compatibility layer. And beyond OpenStack, there is an overall need for cloud vendors to specialize in order to differentiate from the market leader.
Despite the success of the public cloud, most enterprises will still have hybrid deployments as the predominant form of cloud adoption. At the same time, growing legal and statutory requirements will make the location of data centers a key criteria for enterprises selecting cloud vendors. But enterprises will also realize that for the next-generation application demands, there is no alternative to cloud adoption. The nature and demands of next-generation applications force the adoption of cloud, as cloud qualities are key for the benefits that enterprises want to garner from these applications.
Prepare yourself for a productive conversation about the future of the cloud in your organization. The table of contents and a snapshot of my report is available for download.