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Cloud computing has moved beyond the “next hot thing” – an unproven concept – to slowly becoming the default IT platform of the future.

How is the Cloud changing?  What is expected in 2014?  Bernard Golden made 10 predictions for Cloud computing in a recent issue of CIO magazine article.  Here are 4 of his top predictions.

More businesses will become software companies

Enterprises have gained confidence in cloud computing, and they are planning to go beyond development and testing environments.

Products and services are getting wrapped up in IT, and all these applications are finding a home in the cloud.

For example, workers are able to print documents by accessing (via the Cloud) printers outside their own organization, and patients are to track and download medical statistics directly into their own medical records.

The net effect of the ongoing shift to IT-wrapped products and services is that global IT spend will increase significantly due to IT’s shifting focus.  IT is no longer relegated to the back-office.  IT now provides value and is at the forefront of most companies’ future plans.

Application developers will become more important

If applications are becoming more central to business offerings, then those who create the applications become more important.

It is no secret that developers drove much of the early growth of cloud info computing…attracted by the immediate availability, scalability and efficiency provided by cloud providers.  That early adoption set a precedence that access to cloud resources should be easy and quick.  This expectation has caused exponential growth as more developers look to the Cloud.

Google and Microsoft will get serious about the Cloud

Both Google and Microsoft are looking to the Cloud, and they have Amazon Web Services (AWS) in their sights.  Both companies have recognized that their initial cloud offerings were inadequate. With Version 2.0, both companies deliver directly competitive cloud offerings.

Pricing Battles for Cloud Access

However, the battle does not stop with Microsoft, Google or Amazon.  Every cloud provider is going to be confronted in 2014 with three (deep-pocketed) competitors slugging it out for market share.  Prices will drop. Inevitably, other CSPs will suffer collateral damage as potential customers bring the list prices of the big three into contract negotiations and expect them to match what they are offering. For those without low cost of capital and their own deep pockets, next year will signal the beginning of the end…solved only by industry consolidation or the shutdown of operations.

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