Application migration will be the biggest part of the effort, and business will continue to be the main driver
According to Gartner, “The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend. … 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.”
Those are rather ambitious predictions, considering we’re just past our first projects and most enterprises are now ramping up a few more to run in parallel.
Some of the predicted growth will come from simply calling traditional IT offerings “cloud”; such cloud-washing is nothing new. Still, the larger migration of applications will occur over the next few years, and a few enterprises are ramping up for them now. If everything goes on schedule, the Gartner growth prediction will come true.
I’m not so sure about the hybrid part of the prediction. Enterprises will use a variety of cloud models, including private and hybrid, resulting in a multicloud reality rather than a hybrid one. Already, enterprises are finding the cloud deployments that meet their requirements are more complex than private, public, or hybrid.
In whatever forms it takes at each enterprise, cloud growth will largely be driven by the business, not IT. IT won’t push back on cloud computing in 2016 as much as it did in 2008, but I believe the push will still come mainly from those in the business who seek more cost-effective ways to provide IT services, decrease time to market, and increase agility.
That focus on cost may seem to argue for an infrastructure-focused push, but I believe the growth will be more around application development and application migration than infrastructure conversation and expansion. It’s the application side where the value lies, and where the real work needs to be done to take meaningful advantage of the fairly low-cost cloud infrastructure.
It looks like we’ll all be very busy in 2015 and 2016.