Emerging Trends and Developments in Technology

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Cloud Computing Poised to Escalate

Forrester Research says cloud market to grow from $40.7bn in 2011 to $241bn in 2020

A recent report from analyst firm Forrester called "Sizing the Cloud" indicates that cloud computing business will continue to play a significant role in the overall growth of the tech industry. The report predicts that cloud computing encompassing both public and private sectors will grow from $40.7bn in 2011 to more than $241bn in 2020. The momentum in the market should continue to see acceleration and reach a peak in 2014, after which significant commoditization, price deterioration, and margin pressure will trigger a natural decline. But overall, by 2020, the report pegs the public cloud market size at $ 159.3B , the virtual private cloud market at $66.4B and the private cloud market at $15.9B .The report also foresees the necessity of businesses to formulate a complex and dynamic business plan to accommodate market discrepancies that will emerge in different cloud segments as some of them will face saturation as others will still be emerging with low market adoption. Middleware virtualization, which is just making its appearance in private clouds, will grow at the fastest rate of all the cloud services.

The varying regional cloud realities are further highlighted in a recent survey of 1,600 SMEs (Small and Medium Businesses) in Europe conducted by virtualization firm VMware that found UK firms to be lagging behind their European counterparts in embracing cloud computing services. According to the VMware survey, 57 percent of UK SMBs have virtualized parts of their IT infrastructure, compared to 73 percent in Europe. It also found that SMEs which will account for at least half the market by 2014 usually opt for pushing data storage and office productivity applications to the cloud.

Of course as the cloud market matures, subsequent increase in exploration of cloud technology by large enterprises as witnessed recently in segments such as virtualization and private clouds will take place. New market dynamics will also occur as the industry weathers bottlenecks such as cloud security and businesses in turn finally overcome their concerns on the security and reliability of cloud-based services which have again taken spotlight due to last week's Amazon Web Services' cloud outage. Industry consortia like the Cloud Security Alliance are actively working on developing standards for secure cloud computing practices and have released guidelines that cover security domains, ranging from computing architecture to virtualization for organizations. To standardize its efforts and bring about more industry confidence in its efforts, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is partnering with ISO and is building cloud security and privacy standards under ISO/IEC. (International Organization for Standardization/International Electro technical Commission) so that cloud users can measure cloud-based security controls using tools which are already used in traditional control structures. Big brand name cloud providers like Google and Amazon have also been steadily investing in data centers around the world and this should lead to greater global adoption especially by organizations that have reservations about hosting data outside the country.