Cloud computing, mobile analytics to top enterprise IT trends in 2011

January 7th, 2011 | by Aaron Tan

In its annual prediction of enterprise IT developments, Springboard Research hit the nail on the head with a sound analysis on the state of enterprise cloud computing:

The debate over public versus private versus hybrid approaches has led to further cloud-related market confusion over the past 12 months. Ironically, however, through 2011 this debate will actually serve to help organizations better understand and therefore position cloud‐based approaches relative to existing IT initiatives. As IT (and many business) decision makers educate themselves on the distinction between internal versus external service deployments, and between dedicated and shared access, they will better understand how the various cloud approaches compare with other, existing approaches within their organizations.

Over the next 12 months, we expect cloud computing to increasingly be considered alongside (and often compared to) other, related sourcing approaches, including those offered by more traditional outsourcing vendors and hosted service providers.

This analysis is fair and accurate, and is congruent with what we’ve been seeing in the enterprise tech space. The differentiation between public and private clouds among cloud players is nothing more than a marketing tactic to dismiss rivals who’ve taken a different approach to cloud computing. More organizations are starting to see cloud computing as just another sourcing option, and are evaluating cloud services in the context of existing IT infrastructure. Few will be stating cloud computing as an upfront requirement, without considering on-premise solutions.

In terms of overall spending, Springboard expects the public cloud market in Asia-Pacific to be dominated by software as a service (SaaS) solutions, with strong demand in areas such as messaging, web conferencing and CRM. In addition, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings from both cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, as well as more traditional telco providers including SingTel is poised to grow rapidly.

Cloud related security concerns will also subside slowly this year with better understanding of cloud computing. Instead, concerns will hover around interoperability and integration of systems, data and processes, Springboard noted.

This year, more telcos are also expected to ramp up their cloud computing offerings. The research firm, however, said not all telcos will be as equally committed or capable of delivering the full range of cloud services demanded by customers. “Infrastructure hosting will be targeted at larger enterprise clients with SaaS offerings targeted at small and medium sized business (SMB) customers during 2011.”

Compared to IT players in the cloud computing space, telcos have a significant advantage because of their existing relationships with a substantial customer base, Springboard said. “Even a small percentage of existing telco customers adopting cloud‐based value added services would be significant compared to the marketing momentum (and investments) required by startups.”

Mobile analytics is expected to trickle into the hands of mobile warriors with customizable reports generated on the fly using smartphones. Users will demand more contextually relevant reporting and analytics, including more social, collaborative and geo‐location driven reports, Springboard said.

The demand for mobile analytics will come at a cost: enterprise IT would have to tweak their IT architectures in areas such as application delivery, software lifecycle management, security, data integration, data warehousing and telco services.

“While it will drive confusion and consternation within IT, the majority of larger organizations will nonetheless be forced to support ever‐increasing levels of reporting and analytic complexity at the mobile device level – primarily as a result of demand from the most senior of business users,” Springboard noted.

Other top enterprise tech trends this year include the expansion of managed services to embrace application-centric services, increased adoption of collaborative document editing and HTML5 web applications, heightened focus on security, more entire IT infrastructure stack offerings (think Oracle Exadata and Cisco UCS) and the ongoing consumerization of IT.

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