Cloud computing has reached a level of maturity where it is no longer seen as the disruptor, but almost the incumbent technology to be challenged. When markets reach this point, original value propositions can become lost in a desire to expand to meet demand, and new (or old) rival technologies begin to target specific segments. For cloud computing, the core business of providing IaaS has come under threat from a range of different technologies that can be delivered from the traditional data center. Cloud computing will also come under pressure from newer technologies that can start from a position where they solve specific problems.
For many organizations, the biggest challenge that cloud computing faces in 2017 is dealing with an increasing level of complexity as a result of the sheer number of different services on offer. Coupled with this is the need for more than a single pricing model to cover all the different services. This will sound familiar to most IT managers, who have struggled with different licensing and pricing models for years, particularly because one of the key value propositions of cloud computing was a simple and easy-to-understand pricing model. The value delivered by cloud providers is in the platform and the ability to integrate with other environments. For enterprise customers looking to adopt cloud services, the journey and its different stages needs to be planned so that cloud adoption is strategic and not just tactical.
Many of the new workloads being considered for the cloud are showing signs of fragmenting along different paths. Although this indicates that the cloud has evolved to provide solutions for a wider audience, it is also a weakness to be exploited by alternative technologies. These different workloads, if viewed from a market vertical perspective, could be seen as specialist and therefore vulnerable to new entrants with new technologies which may seek to challenge cloud-based solutions. Cloud providers must connect these disparate cloud workloads so that holistic organizational value can be obtained, and organizations can legitimately be compared to solving a specific line-of-business issue. In addition, service providers need to offer integrated service and support management.
For many organizations moving workloads to the cloud, skills and knowledge represent the biggest area where help is needed. Service providers need to understand the adoption patterns of cloud computing so that any investment in regions or countries matches the opportunity in 2017. Cloud computing is being adopted globally, but approaches differ between countries and regions depending on factors such as data sovereignty laws, government policy on the use of IT, and how mature the market is in the use of cloud computing.
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