The next big upheaval in enterprise technology is happening as you read this. Large scale corporations are in the midst of staging major migrations from the world of yesterday – onsite IT and self-managed storage and security – to the world of tomorrow. It’s a world that can be summed up in two syllables: the cloud.
You’re probably wondering what’s taken these huge, purportedly visionary corporations so long to make the move. Everybody and their mother knows about the cloud, and a ton of us use it on a daily basis.
But its important to remember that corporations aren’t people. They simply don’t have the flexibility to test out innovations like cloud services on a whim. They move slowly because they have to. When you’re built like a dinosaur, it’s not exactly easy to zig and zag. Sometimes even attempting to adapt quickly can cause serious instability. And so, like gargantuan Apatosauruses contemplating their next moves, enterprise companies have sat and stared and waited, until finally they’re starting to take action based on the most critical of all business objectives: cutting operational cost.
Step one of the shift into the cloud began with customer relationship management (CRM) software and is now picking up with more major corporations looking into cloud storage. The appeal is obvious. Cloud storage gives corporations the ability to divest themselves of costly equipment and maintenance, the real estate that’s required to house it all, and all those employees they have to keep on the payroll to run it all.
No Mass Layoffs, Yet
This doesn’t mean that the workplace of the future will be entirely devoid of IT professionals. There will always be a need for on-site professionals, and some enterprises that do decide to shift the majority of their functions into the cloud may opt for the hybrid cloud approach, which essentially makes local servers and cloud servers work together for an optimally balanced approach. Either way, don’t expect mass layoffs in areas of IT.
“There will be some savings in web/cloud hosting,” claims Dr. Gerry Purdy, principal analyst at MobileTrax, “but there’s still a need for development resources. Some enterprises will have internal cloud services perhaps managed by external management like HP or IBM, but I think we’ll see the overall operation of the enterprise migrate from lots of client/server apps to cloud/mobile apps that will try to save large buckets of money.”
More to Explore
Naturally, there’s much else to be explored aside from simply CRM and cloud storage solutions. Providers that offer security services will continue to play a colossal role in keeping enterprise data safe from prying eyes. Likewise, those that provide secure mobile applications and that can facilitate personal clouds for individual employees are bound to be embraced.
Third party service providers that can develop improved mobility solutions are also big on the hit list for many enterprises eyeballing the transformation, as a way to solve, and take advantage of, the unavoidable reality of an increasingly mobile workforce.
Purdy sees the niche segment of synchronization services making big gains in the near future, too.
“While connectivity is getting more pervasive with widespread Wi-Fi in metropolitan areas,” Purdy says, “many corporate users need to operate while not connected. If you rely totally on a connection to the cloud, you’ll find that some apps appear to hang up and not be functional. Thus, various synchronization services will play a very important role in overall enterprise cloud services.”