Predicting the future is easy. Nailing down those predictions – well, that’s something else entirely.
But if there’s one thing that corporate infrastructure and operations leaders can expect in 2017, it’s this: The silver lining around enterprise cloud computing will shine even brighter.
“The cloud market will accelerate faster in 2017 as enterprises around the world look to cloud to power their core business systems in addition to their customer-facing applications,” according to the new Forrester Research report, Predictions 2017: Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Launch Cloud’s Second Decade, which outlines key factors expected to shape cloud in the coming year. “Cloud computing is no longer an adjunct technology bolted onto I&O strategy as a place to build a few customer-facing apps.”
Cloud computing as a concept dates back to the 1970s, but it gained popularity in 2006 with the introduction of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Now, platforms such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and cloud applications such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) help propel forward a comprehensive spectrum of enterprise transformations, and a growing number of businesses initially intimidated by cost or complexity of cloud are looking closely at these transformations to help chart their own.
That growth will exceed $145 billion in 2017 in the global public cloud market alone, up from $87 billion in 2015, Forrester says in the report.
Rough spots remain, however. The research firm also warns that I&O leaders proceed toward enterprise cloud with caution and plan for, or at least be aware of, these potential rough spots when they investigate switching from on-site or co-located IT systems in the coming year. Among them:
Cost management – Forrester cited the example of a cloud architect at a large U.S. software company who trimmed $300,000 from a $2.5 million cloud bill “through daily monitoring, regular resizing, and targeted use of reserved capacity,” Forrester said. In other words, I&O leaders who learn and appreciate cloud economics greatly improve the value of cloud over the long and short term.
Lift-and-shift inflexibility – Although lift-and-shift application migrations will be easier and more viable in 2017, Forrester warned about continuing to exercise caution when evaluating this approach. “Economic and performance benefits will likely be limited if you haven’t redesigned your application to take advantage of a cloud platform architecture,” Forrester said.
SaaS regionalization – The long-held view that SaaS was too vertical or too limited in its customization options is changing. Forrester expects to see more regional- and industry-specific offerings through 2017. “But beware, as you may lose some benefits by going in a non-vanilla direction,” Forrester said. “Industry editions are likely to cost more.”
Perficient understands and appreciates these challenges and many others. That’s why our Cloud First, Business-driven mantra enables businesses to focus on measurable goals and realize all of the cloud’s benefits. Our solutions help businesses meet and exceed constantly rising expectations from customers and employers. And we equip I&O leaders with the knowledge needed to develop competitive advantages that propel their businesses to the forefront of their industries.
Find out how we’re polishing the silver lining around the cloud. Visit Perficient’s Cloud Services page or download our Cloud First guides for best practices, thought leadership, and examples of effective cloud strategies.