Cloud spending is growing so fast that it will comprise the majority of new IT expenditures by 2016, according to an October press release from Gartner. The IT research company further predicts that 2016 will see the private cloud give way to the hybrid cloud. By the end of the following year, Gartner expects that nearly half of all large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployment, meaning the enterprise will be both a user and provider of cloud services.
David Linthicum, chief technology officer and founder of Cloud Technology Partners, disagrees with part of this prediction. “Enterprises will use a variety of cloud models, including private and hybrid, resulting in a multi-cloud reality rather than a hybrid one. Already, enterprises are finding the cloud deployments that meet their requirements are more complex than private, public, or hybrid,” he wrote in his October 29 InfoWorld blog.
In an earlier blog, Linthicum wrote that multicloud “add[s] more clouds to the mix, perhaps two or more public IaaS [infrastructure as a service] providers, a private PaaS [platform as a service], on-demand management and security systems from public clouds, private use-based accounting…” This is in contrast to a hybrid cloud, which he defined as “typically a paired private and public cloud.”
In the more recent blog, he added that business – not IT – will drive cloud growth. Those in the business who want more cost-effective ways to provide IT services, decrease time to market, and increase agility will provide the impetus. The growth will be more around application development and application migration than infrastructure conversation and expansion, predicted Linthicum.
According to Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner, the very real trends toward cloud platforms and "massively scalable processing" are giving companies and individuals more freedom to decide how they'll acquire or deliver IT services. Further, according to Howard, "Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
Along with the benefits mentioned above, there are several risks for organizations that use external cloud services, putting their information outside their immediate control. Summarizing content from Guideline for Outsourcing Records Storage to the Cloud, these include:
- There may not be 24/7 access to the information because of the provider’s down time.
- The information’s security is dependent on the service provider’s policies, controls, and staff.
- Information may be co-mingled with other organizations’ information, and it may not be stored in a specific, physically identifiable location.
- It may not be disposed of when and how the organization requires, and audit trails may not be available to prove its integrity.
- There may be difficulty getting the information back if the service provider goes out of business or if the organization wants to change service providers.
To learn more about the risks of using third-party cloud services and how to mitigate them, consult Guideline for Outsourcing Records Storage to the Cloud, which is available for purchase in the ARMA International online bookstore.