All signs point to the rapid adoption of cloud computing as a fundamental shift in the delivery model of information technology (IT) — but abundant challenges will make it a difficult adoption curve.
Cloud computing is a fundamental shift in IT that will alter the technology industry power structure, improve business agility for all industries and increase everyone's access to computing, storage and communications power. As one prominent research house put it in the title of a report containing cloud predictions for 2011, “Welcome to the New Mainstream.”1
Just the beginning for public and private cloud services
Despite the certainty expressed in these predictions, the transition to cloud computing from in-house IT infrastructure and traditional outsourcing is really just beginning. It's estimated that public and private cloud services generated 15% of worldwide IT spending in 2011 and will grow at 26% compound annual growth rate for the next four years.2 So there is a long, hard road of difficult transitions and adoption decisions still ahead.
Right now is when cloud service providers (CSPs) need to position themselves, their offerings and their future development strategies for the rapid changes to come. Likewise, business users of cloud services require immediate insight into the benefits and risks of cloud computing — along with how to exploit the former, while avoiding the latter — as they adopt this “new mainstream” IT approach.
Finally, both technology and other businesses need to understand how cloud computing is changing consumers' habits and expectations. Cloud computing issues and impacts combines the insights of EY's own leading thinkers with analysis of secondary market research and other sources to synthesize our view of the current state of cloud computing, where it is going in the foreseeable future and the holistic way you should think about it.
Through this series of topical drill-down discussions, we offer our insight and hope to stimulate productive dialogue within and across your organizations about how to make the most of the transformative force of the cloud.
1IDC Predictions 2011: Welcome to the New Mainstream, International Data Corporation, December 2010.