It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about private, public or hybrid – cloud was the hot word of the year for 2011. As much as companies have pushed the term, the promise of what cloud could deliver is what sustained the buzz throughout the year.
More companies are looking at cloud as they prepare for the future, mapping out their plans for success in an uncertain, and often turbulent, world market. No one knows for certain what economic and technology changes are on the horizon, but every company wants its IT to be able to respond to evolving business requirements with the speed required to provide a competitive advantage.
So did cloud deliver in 2011?
The best way to answer that question is to look at actual cloud implementations and how it impacted the business.
One example is the City of Melrose, a city that built a secure, multi-tenant private cloud that can host multiple communities. By moving to the cloud, it achieved a 40 percent cost savings and is offering data center and IT services to other neighboring cities and towns in Massachusetts generating additional revenue for the City of Melrose.
Another great example is Princeton Insurance, the leading medical professional liability insurer in New Jersey. Information is the lifeblood of the insurance industry and the company relies on a team of just five IT professionals to support the entire infrastructure for a 150-person workforce that serves 16,000 customers. The team used a private cloud to accelerate resource provisioning from weeks to minutes allowing them to keep up with the dynamic needs of the company’s vital business applications, including the business intelligence platform.
Convinced yet? If you aren’t, just take a look at the number of companies who have chosen to use public cloud service providers like T Systems, Terremark and Rackspace in the last year. The growth path for these companies is another telling indicator that cloud has moved from hype to reality.
These real-world implementations show that the flexibility and efficiency achieved through cloud is going to continue its momentum in 2012 and beyond. I predict every essential business application will be in the cloud by the end of 2015.