The cloud changes everything. While the Internet changed the game 20 years ago, the cloud is creating a second revolution in how people and businesses conduct their lives.
Tom Caper, who writes for the Rand Group, has outlined a number of cloud computing trends for 2014. Here are six that are worth expanding upon.
Trend #1: Better CRM. While most businesses already use CRM and ERP, there still is a large percentage of users that run premise-based CRM. This should start to shift in 2014, and the move will supercharge many businesses. That’s because the flexibility of the cloud to interface with various databases makes cloud CRM potentially far more powerful than on-premise counterparts. Look for CRM to get more powerful, and this to play a big role in business.
Trend #2: Big Data. A lot of data has been collected the past 20 years or so, but to this point much of it has gone unused or at least underutilized. This is starting to change, however, as big data systems and cloud services that offer them up to businesses of all sizes are making data more accessible than ever. It is now possible to have big data deliver real-time insights for business operations, making big data and the cloud one of the biggest trends in 2014.
Trend #3: Cloud as the new hardware archetype. Virtualization has made the cloud useful for just about every type of computational task, and increasingly on-premise hardware is being removed in favor of cloud-based solutions. The elimination of traditional IT infrastructure will continue in 2014, as the cloud moves from playing a bit part in overall architecture to becoming the standard.
Trend #5: Improved identity management. Security is increasingly important as platforms and key business data is just an authentication away from being accessible. As more businesses move to the cloud, you’ll see increasing focus on identity management and properly securing data in the cloud.
Trend #6: The rise of platform-as-a-service (PaaS): Whereas once the cloud was looked upon as being slightly suspect, with increased security has come a number of firms that are now willing to fully trust the cloud as their primary infrastructure. This trend has led to increased adoption of PaaS, as well as PaaS solutions developed for specific industries.
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