Cloud Formations : How business is changing

We must welcome the future… and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.

We will never know for sure what American philosopher George Santayana was referring to when he uttered his famous lesson, but we can certainly apply his insights as we attempt to comprehend the potential impact of technological advances as significant as cloud computing. In predicting the future of cloud computing, we must first take note of its past.

Each year, the world’s leading IT research and advisory firm Gartner identifies the top 10 strategic technologies that will have significant impact for organizations for the coming year. Gartner defines these strategic technologies as the following: technologies with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.

David Cearley, a Fellow at Gartner explains that “the technologies [on these lists] will be strategic for most organizations, and IT leaders should use this list in their strategic planning process by reviewing the technologies and how they fit into their expected needs.”

I decided to do a simple tabulation of Gartner’s lists for both 2012 and 2013 (next year’s list hasn’t been released yet) to assess if Gartner had identified cloud computing -related technologies among their top 10 strategic technologies in the last two years.

The results are tabulated below:

Top 10 Strategic Techs for 2012 Cloud-Related   Top 10 Strategic Techs for 2013 Cloud Related
Media Tablets No Mobile experiences yes
Mobile Applications no HTML 5 no
Social User Experience no Personal Cloud yes
Intelligence Sensors no Intelligence Sensors no
App Stores No Hybrid cloud computing yes
Next-gen Analytics yes Strategic Big Data no
Data Management No Actionable Analytics yes
In-memory Computing No In-memory Computing no
Low-energy Servers No Integrated Ecosystems yes
Cloud Computing yes Enterprise App Stores No
Cloud-related techs 2   Cloud-related techs 5

The number of cloud computing-related technologies on the Gartner Strategic Technology list has more than doubled from 2 to 5 over the last two years. From these results alone, it is clear that cloud computing has had a significant influence on the global IT industry.

In February 2012, Gartner released a research paper entitled “Five Cloud Computing Trends that Will Affect Your Cloud Strategy Through 2015” (Cearley, D. and Smith, D.). Inside, there is a brilliant exposé on the anticipation surrounding cloud computing.

Here’s an excerpt of the paper;

Cloud computing is a major technology trend that has permeated the market over the last two years. … Cloud computing has a significant potential impact on every aspect of IT and how users access applications, information and business services. Although the potential is significant, the breadth and depth of the impact and the level of adoption over time is uncertain. The trend and related technologies continue to evolve and change rapidly, and there is continuing confusion and misunderstanding as vendors increasingly hype “cloud” as a marketing term. This level of impact, confusion, uncertainty and change make cloud computing one of Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends to address.

It is remarkable to note the variety of descriptions of cloud computing in that final sentence, “impact, confusion, uncertainty and change”. Even the IT experts are unsure how this will evolve! provided a comprehensive look on how data communication and management have evolved and converged towards cloud computing.

Thanks to


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