Cloud computing is no longer a technology reserved for a niche market; it has infiltrated all facets of IT, becoming an essential tool for driving innovation and making organizations more agile than ever. Whether it is individuals, SMB's or multinational enterprises, cloud computing represents a future in which anyone can move from concept to development to market in a shorter period of time, allowing them to compete in a global marketplace that is getting more competitive by the day. Cloud technology is here to stay, and two themes that will affect the market in the coming year are going to be competition in the field and security.
Now that almost everyone is In agreement about the benefits cloud technology provides, more companies are starting to provide cloud services. This market has, in effect, been dominated by Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) (AWS), generating close to $4 billion in revenue while at the same time introducing a great number of innovations that is making the company the “go-to” source when it comes to cloud. At the re:Invent 2013 conference in November, AWS announced five major new offerings as well 250 new offerings or service improvements in 2013, letting its customers and competitors know it is not resting on its laurels.
Although AWS seems to have a strong hold on the market, the competitors that are entering the cloud service provider (CSP (News - Alert)) industry are some of the largest organizations in the world. This includes Google, IBM and Microsoft, which are investing heavily by increasing their investments in data centers around the world and acquiring key technological assets. As of now they are the only true contenders capable of catching up to AWS. In order for other SPs to compete, there has to be a period of mergers and acquisitions in the industry or they have to go after niche markets and refocus on managed services.
Amazon's lead is so large in the industry, that Lydia Leong, a Gartner (News - Alert) analyst stated in her blog, "The relative strength of AWS in both Vision and Execution essentially forces the whole quadrant graphic to rescale." The lead was so large Gartner had to change its Magic Quadrant scale in order to accommodate the rest of the competitors.
The impressive lead Amazon has achieved as a cloud service provider has to be mentioned because competition is essential in order to make an industry grow, no matter how many innovations the company introduces. As Google (News - Alert), IBM, Microsoft and others make headway in the CSP market, customers across all industries will benefit from the choices they will have available to them.
The coming year will see greater competition and lower price points, forcing companies to differentiate themselves by the type of services they offer. One area in which cloud technology has had a problem in making converts is security, and the company that offers the best security protocol will be receiving the most attention. Security measures will have to include biometrics along with a second form of authentication or other tough-to-steal identifier. This is because the same computing power that organizations are using in the cloud is also being used by hackers to decipher passwords. Future hackers will be able to access a global network of computing processing power to go after a desired target, and if said target doesn't have the right security protocols, it will be vulnerable to a breach.In 2014 cloud computing is going to be the dominant platform for IT, and the growth of this technology will need more competition and a robust security platform as more people and businesses continue to migrate to the cloud.
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