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No cloud policies to be almost nonexistent by 2020
4 things you need to know about cloud

According to a recent report from information technology research firm Gartner, cloud-centric practice is fast becoming commonplace in many organisations. 

Cloud-first, and in some instances cloud-only, rollouts are gaining ground, as a more open mindset sweeps the industry.

But that doesn’t mean traditional, physical hardware will be subject to a mass clear-out. Not everything will move to the cloud, as some companies will have valid concerns about aspects such as privacy, data security and compliance. However, point-blank refusal to adopt cloud technologies will largely die out by 2020, just as the idea of no internet at firms has.

"Aside from the fact that many organisations with a no-cloud policy actually have some under-the-radar or unavoidable cloud usage, we believe that this position will become increasingly untenable," says Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner.

Mann adds that cloud technology would “increasingly be the default option for software deployment”. More than 30 per cent of the world’s largest 100 vendors’ new software spending would move from cloud-first to cloud-only by 2019, the report notes.

The best of both

Both private and public clouds will be affected by this shift in thinking, with a mixture of the two – the hybrid cloud – becoming increasingly prevalent.

This concept is particularly interesting to many IT decision-makers. A concept rather than a solution, a hybrid cloud allows for bespoke architecture with its own inherent advantages over purely public or private options. Applications and data stores can be held in one or both cloud types, with one mitigating against the shortcomings – security, latency, ease of implementation or otherwise – of the other.

The report also predicted that new IT capabilities would be available as cloud-based solutions only, pushing sceptical companies into making the move from away from traditional hardware solutions.

Success requires flexibility

Yefim Natis, Gartner vice president, pointed out that agile IT solutions cannot be produced by organisations that are too rigid to embrace change.

“As delivery shifts more to the cloud, most IT organisations will have to reorganise to reflect the business realities of cloud computing: continuous innovation and change, pervasive integration, competing with cloud providers for some initiatives, and crucial prevalence of influence over control in IT's relationship with lines of business,” Natis says.

Gartner made three key recommendations to chief information officers: research whether your customers actively want to avoid the cloud despite such deployments becoming more widespread; assume cloud acceptance from other enterprises; and encourage cloud-first policy among companies yet to transition to any cloud service.

So the message is clear. While it may not be broken and might not need fixing, the IT policy of firms who prefer to stick with the status quo of physical, on-site servers and hardware-based technology solutions means they risk lagging behind cloud-enabled businesses – and fast.