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April 3, 2012

Gartner Lays Out Five-Part Cloud Strategy

Tiffany Trader

A new set of recommendations from IT research firm Gartner emphasizes the importance of an informed cloud strategy. As the analyst outfit says: “Although the potential for cloud computing is significant, the breadth and depth of the impact, as well as the level of adoption over time, are uncertain and will require frequent review.”

Despite or more likely because of the high level of cloud saturation, there is still much confusion over the term, and businesses are in dire need of sensible direction. The fact that the field is still evolving rapidly along with the profusion of often-times conflicting “expert opinion” can be unsettling, to say the least.

This is the message of David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, who states: “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 huge impact potential combined with the likelihood of confusion, uncertainty and change are what compelled Gartner to make cloud computing one of its top 10 strategic technology trends, notes Cearley. In the recently-release report, Five Cloud Computing Trends That Will Affect Your Cloud Strategy Through 2015, Gartner identifies five sub-trends on track to significantly affect the cloud computing landscape over the next three years:

Formal Decision Frameworks Facilitate Cloud Investment Optimization

  • Cloud offers potential benefits, such as the shifting of IT resources to more profitable tasks, but these advantages must be weighed against potential pitfalls (like vendor lock-in, transparency, security, reliability) when evaluating individual cloud solutions.

Hybrid Cloud Computing Is an Imperative

  • The hybrid model combines elements of public and private clouds to extract maximum value at minimum risk. Ideally, the disparate IT resources are integrated into a unified system so that the underlying complexity is hidden from the user.

Cloud Brokerage Will Facilitate Cloud Consumption

  • A cloud services brokerage (CSB) is a third-party that helps companies negotiate the cloud adoption process.

Cloud-Centric Design Becomes a Necessity

  • To extract the most value from cloud-based systems, applications need be customized.

Cloud Computing Influences Future Data Center and Operational Models

  • A well-designed internal datacenter, one that fully implements cloud computing principles, will enhance an organization’s overall efficiency and agility.

Numerous studies reveal that companies are serious about moving to the cloud, but many aren’t sure where to start. By identifying these sub-trends, Gartner is helping to ease the transition.