2016 will cement the idea that the cloud revolution is here to stay. Cloud computing has become a vital part of any enterprise IT strategy, democratising the way in which IT delivers services and how users access information and business services. At the centre of this lies the realisation that data, as a critical business asset, can be efficiently stored in the cloud.
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In the coming year, cloud is set to disrupt the data and analytics landscape even further. The database, integration and analytics markets will continue their race to understand how each can make the most of this opportunity. As competition heats up between the major cloud players, demands in the market, new partnerships and acquisitions will give rise to cloud challengers. This will ensure that 2016 will see plenty of innovation in the cloud sector.
Non-traditional data sources are in demand
The race is on for your data – and not just typical internal data assets. The cloud giants, from Amazon Web Services to Microsoft, want organisations to move their data into their ecosystems, whether this is data from web platforms or data from machines and devices.
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Many companies have already taken steps towards building an enterprise data lake in the cloud. Given the inexpensive storage options that cloud players provide, as well as the appeal of zero capital expenditure of hosted solutions, this is an attractive option. These organisations will be especially open to easy paths for including non-traditional (but increasingly vital) data sources in ever-scalable platforms.
The cloud price war continues
The cloud price battle rages on as leading providers continue trading blows on how cheaply they can offer their services. The end game boils down to channel partners assisting with the on-boarding of customers onto preferential cloud platforms.
Reduced cost adds a new element to the cloud war
This year, the contest will intensify as key partners get dragged into the arena. With partners able to capitalise on the deeper resources of larger providers, the ability for them to offer their own services at a reduced cost adds a new element to the cloud war.
Large enterprises choose cloud
2016 marks a tipping point for cloud computing. Large enterprises from every industry have woken up to the advantages it offers and are transitioning their entire infrastructure and data ecosystems to the cloud.
Adopting a cloud strategy boosts efficiency, cuts cost and risk and can help to streamline a firm’s productivity. These benefits are now impossible to ignore, especially as CIO’s peer 5 years into the future and the alternative of massive unsustainable overhead stares menacingly back…
Cost remains key for IT
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Keeping tabs on cloud deployment costs, and their capacity to expand rapidly, is vital for IT. As the primary reasons for choosing a cloud strategy are cost and efficiency, CIOs must be able to verify those benefits. Over the next twelve months (and beyond), IT leaders will rely on cloud analytics solutions to explore their usage and billing data, and enable them to spot costly services and prevent budget overruns.
What’s more, thanks to the rise of mobile analytics, these solutions are on hand 24/7, 365 days a year. As a result, IT leaders will be able to do all this from their smartphone or tablet, even whilst based in the field or travelling to a meeting.
Moving data to the cloud is easier than ever
With self-service cloud analytics and data prep now a reality, 2016 will be all about simple methods for pushing data from inside organisations as well as from web platforms into cloud data ecosystems.
The ability of letting an individual without a technical background move data into a cloud ecosystem quickly and easily is on the way. Simple solutions that break down the complexity of data integration, staging, and transformation and focus solely on letting business users drop data into preferred cloud databases and warehouses are in the pipeline.
Simple solutions that break down the complexity of data integration
Data privacy remains at the forefront of the cloud agenda
In light of European data rules on the Safe Harbour Principles, U.S. companies moving user data across the Atlantic need to be explicit on their position on data privacy, or run the risk of losing their customers’ faith.
For firms big enough to already have dedicated infrastructure in Europe the message is easy. For those that don’t, 2016 will be a test. They must decide; do they take a chance and hope that a new agreement is hammered out that allows them to continue to be able to operate solely in the U.S.? Or do they protect their customer loyalty by proactively committing to European data infrastructure and getting involved in the data privacy debate?
The future is hybrid
One foot in the cloud and one foot on the ground?
One foot in the cloud and one foot on the ground? When it comes to a technology roadmap, a hybrid approach has largely shaken the ‘playing safe’ perception. It is now openly accepted as the best path for some organisations. As a result, solutions and services built to support this model will blossom like never before.
Mobile and cloud analytics overlap and merge
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According to research firm Gartner, in 2016, the cloud and mobile markets will continue to overlap one another. In a world where devices are always connected and data increasingly resides in the cloud, words like ‘mobile’ and ‘cloud’ no longer matter. It simply becomes about answering questions quickly and communicating results.
As the cloud becomes mainstream, it’s increasingly clear that there is no new normal. Change is the constant. Over the coming year, the providers, forms, and purposes of the cloud will continue to evolve. However, we can count on the fact that more people than ever will be operating in the cloud: storing and working with data fast and efficiently, so that they can see and understand its value.