Cloud Computing Trends for 2012
The year 2011 has been a golden year for cloud adoption. While major corporations have eased into the cloud, many SMBs too have got their fundamentals right by adopting cloud-based solutions and training their employees. The complications involved with setting up IT infrastructure, the financial hurdles of upgrading software and hardware to keep up with changing trends, and the consumerization of IT are some of the few reasons that SMBs decide to move into the cloud. CIOs across the globe are in the process of evaluating different aspects of IT and the latest technologies that can help drive business growth in the coming year. That said, experts from around the globe are confident that cloud computing will continue to have its golden moments in 2012 as well. Based on research and our domain expertise, Ramco Systems predicts ten cloud computing trends for 2012.
 Cloud Integration
Many businesses have entered the cloud market in 2011 on an almost experimental basis, by migrating some of their non-critical business processes to the cloud. As these companies have been operating efficiently and effectively on the cloud over the last one year, their confidence level has grown and it is expected that these businesses will now start integrating their on-premise and cloud environments. Tools for integration, data transfer and management will evolve and these businesses will be early adopters of such tools.
 Into the Hybrid Cloud
In addition to cloud bursting, major corporations were considering hybrid clouds primarily for sharing their domain expertise with the world. These corporations will now focus on developing tightly integrated public and private cloud infrastructure. By utilizing more hybrid cloud architecture, these corporations will enjoy immediate usability without dependency on internet. They will also obtain a high degree of fault tolerance through public cloud infrastructure. Already, corporations have started such practices by maintaining in-house private clouds for sensitive consumer data and utilizing the public cloud for data archives that are non-sensitive.
 Spending on Cloud-based Solutions will Increase
According to research firm IDC, the rate of spending on cloud initiatives is projected to be around $36 billion in 2012, due to expanding cloud adoption. As we all know, cost-effectiveness, durability and scalability are the primary drivers for businesses to spend on cloud-based solutions. IDC also expects plenty of mergers and acquisitions at the vendor level.
 BI on Cloud
A mobile workforce demands decision making on the move. Business Intelligence on the cloud will facilitate senior management to go mobile. Companies like Actuate, MicroStrategy, and Solar Enterprise Solutions have unveiled their powerful BI tools in Cloud Expo 2011. These products are expected to revolutionize cloud-based BI in the upcoming year.
 Cloud-based ERP & Analytics
Ondemand ERP is a trending word in the industry. Many businesses are automating their processes through cloud-based ERP solutions. Moreover, since cloud-based ERP applications have become robust and light, it has enabled employees who travel frequently to access these applications using thin clients.
Automation of processes implies that more data gets captured, making analytical tools very essential in monitoring such cloud-based applications. Cloud user data, usage pattern, spend analysis etc. will prove to be valuable to organizations developing cloud-based applications. Cloud Analytics will also help these solution providers enhance their product offerings based on the captured data.
 More Emphasis on Cloud Governance & Security
Gartner predicts a boost in cloud service offerings and cloud services brokerage, based on the help required by the organizations that debut into the cloud. The research firm also predicts that cloud services brokerage will put a greater focus on enterprise-level governance in the cloud. According to experts, these newbies will be emphasizing cloud security to play safe.
 Disaster Recovery Cloud Services
Without the need to invest in replicated infrastructure at an off-site location, businesses can now retrieve lost data through disaster recovery cloud services. Businesses can heave a sigh of relief as their capital expenses for idle DR hardware is now saved. Zero-downtime disaster recovery might be difficult but recovery-time objectives (RTO) within a matter of hours could be possible.
 More Asian Businesses to Move into the Cloud
Asian businesses seeking global market share in their respective verticals will expand into the cloud at a rapid pace. A recent study by NASSCOM predicts that the global cloud computing market is projected to have a compounded annual growth rate of 33 percent. Asian businesses are expected to contribute significantly towards this growth.
 Supercomputing on the Cloud
We have already mentioned the scenario where an end-user can utilize supercomputing capacity through the cloud. To encourage ‘high-performance computing users’ to utilize cloud-based services, Amazon added supercomputing services to its cloud offerings in the US in 2011. The company has announced that it will expand its offerings across the globe by 2012. So, this is another big trend to watch out for.
 De-duping Tools Help Optimize Data Storage on the Cloud
De-duping tools that work on fuzzy-logic algorithms to detect and merge data will be prevalent. As cloud-based storage works on a pay-per-use model, it is imperative that businesses optimize data stored on the cloud. These tools will help in identifying, eliminating or merging redundant data from the cloud and ensuring minimal usage of cloud resources.