Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical

Aaron Weiss, Tech Journalist / Humorist | 1/1/2013 | 6 comments

Aaron Weiss
We can expect continued maturation of cloud services in 2013, which will translate into expansion and specialization among cloud service providers.

What will these changes mean for your IT organization? For starters, new virtualization solutions will ease the burden of securing and managing mobile devices. In addition, a cloud price war among the largest service providers could work to your advantage in getting the best possible pricing options. And if pricing isn't your No. 1 concern, the growth of vertically specialized cloud services, including platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions designed for specific industries, could offer you options that meet your specific business needs.

What's driving the latest cloud developments? Hosted data and services have grown into core business platforms as a result of the continued expansion of network connectivity. In addition, three major developments are simultaneously gaining momentum, which we expect to help drive cloud evolution and adoption in 2013:

  • Enterprise mobility
  • Virtualization
  • Vertical cloud services

Enterprise mobility and the cloud
Mobile computing is a major force in driving businesses to embrace the cloud. For employers and employees alike, mobile access to work data has become too compelling to ignore.

We can certainly expect the already massive adoption of mobile computing to continue in 2013. In tandem with that growth, we can expect cloud service providers to offer solutions that meet the specific needs of mobile users.

Security is one such example. The mixing of personal and business data on mobile devices strikes fear in the hearts of many IT departments. But there's an answer emerging: mobile virtualization.

In the next 12 months we can expect to see such technologies mature, enabling a single mobile device to be operated under fully independent personal and business personae. This affords IT the ability to essentially rope off business apps and data from the personal activity being conducted on the mobile devices. Mobile virtualization will help improve the security of data on devices, making it possible for IT to create bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies that are more liberal than those of the past.

Cloud commoditization looms
In the past two months, major cloud providers Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have all announced price reductions. The sheer size of these companies lets them afford a price war. So, if you're shopping for cloud services solely based on price, it's likely to be a buyer's market.

How will a price war affect small cloud service providers? One outcome may be that small providers will be driven out of business by the commodity pricing of the big three. To survive a price war, small cloud service providers will have to provide unique service offerings for which they can charge a higher rate than their giant competitors. Here's where vertical cloud services come in.

Vertical cloud services expand
If you've been stymied by the broad-brush cloud services and are looking to find solutions that are specific to your business, then this could be your year. Essentially, the opposite of commodity cloud computing, the vertical cloud -- sometimes known as platform-as-a-service -- applies the hosted benefits of general cloud computing and customizes these to the specific needs of a vertical industry sector.

For example, the air transport industry launched a vertical cloud in 2011. The New York Stock Exchange has also gotten in on the act with a cloud for financial trading. Other vertical clouds are emerging in major industries such as insurance, healthcare, and media.

Industries that share common needs will increasingly find that it makes financial sense to invest in vertical clouds.

What's your cloud outlook for 2013? Is enhancing your enterprise mobility and BYOD capabilities your main objective? Is pricing your priority? Or are you looking for cloud solutions that meet your specific industry needs, even if they come at a premium? Share your comments below.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
singlemud   Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical   1/21/2013 9:32:33 PM
Re: "I had to watch Christmas specials."
That is the risk of depending on a single cloud provider. Netflix could(of course more expensive) offload some service to Microsoft and google.
LuFu   Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical   1/3/2013 2:02:03 PM
"I had to watch Christmas specials."
I suspect that cloud commodization driven by a price war among the big boys (Amazon, Microsoft, Google) may leave a few people disappointed. Amazon is pushing heavy with their AWS providing cloud-based infrastructure to run their online businesses, whether social gaming, mobile apps, virtual stores, and streaming video. More than a few people (self included) clicked on their TV on Christmas Eve and powered up their Netflix account only to find a neverending nothing --- no access, Netflix down and out. People couldn't watch any Breaking Bad marathons on Christmas Eve but had to actually watch regular old non-streaming TV with 24-hour Christmas Story or Andy Williams Christmas Specials from years gone past. Oh, the horror and social media channels erupted in snarky dismay.

The culprit to all this outage outrage? You guessed it, cloud services provided by Amazon Web Services. Oops. Service was finally back up the next day but a black eye for AWS and Netflix. Just a foreshadowing of some future PR events?
CurtisFranklin   Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical   1/2/2013 4:33:44 PM
Re: yes please!
Sara, client virtualization is a solid answer to a lot of enterprise problems. I think we're going to see many more enterprise "desktops" popping up on tablets and smartphone screens this year. It will be interesting to see just how organizations match the neeeds of desktop virtualization with the functions supplied by MDM packages.
CurtisFranklin   Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical   1/2/2013 4:31:48 PM
Re: future
Batye, I think you're right. By making sure that the data we can access isn't limited by the storage capacity of the device, the cloud makes a mobile device a window into an almost limitless universe of information. That's too powerful a concept to not take off and flourish!
Sara Peters   Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical   1/2/2013 1:04:26 PM
yes please!
Aaron I'm really hoping that you're right about mobile client virtualization -- it seems like the ideal solution to anyone worried about BYOD. Here's hopin'!
batye   Cloud Forecast 2013: Going Mobile & Vertical   1/1/2013 10:05:56 PM
I think Enterprise mobility and the cloud is match made in heaven...

Cloud/SaaS  is here to stay...

I trust in 2013 we would see it more and more developing and bigger expansion...

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