12 cloud predictions for Christmas: SMBs and start-ups time to shine

Jennifer Scott Advice
4 Jan, 2012

Our deputy editor, Jennifer Scott, tells us what she thinks will happen in cloud computing during 2012.

There is no doubt that 2011 has been dominated by cloud computing. Let’s face it, if even Larry Ellison has got on-board with the cloud, almost anyone can.

But we are not there yet. There are still reservations and creases to be ironed out in the cloud market. However, I believe many of these will reach boiling point in 2012 and resolutions will be found.

Here are my top three predictions for the next 12 months in cloud…

SMB calls for connections

If you are a large firm with your own network, the cloud is easy to utilise. But, with numerous reports showing SMBs are the biggest adopters – and Google claiming 2012 will be all about the SMBs – I predict there will be louder calls for better broadband networks.

Next year was the initial target for every home in the UK to have access to an minimum of 2Mbps. With this being put back to 2015, SMBs up and down the country just don’t have the connectivity to rely on the cloud for mission critical applications.

But the need for the flexible, pay as you go services will make them speak out.

Legacy firms buying the cloud start-ups

It may be hard to believe, but there are still legacy hardware and software firms yet to develop their own cloud technologies, or at least only have dipped their toes into the waters.

With the economy still struggling, they won’t have the cash to splash out on established cloud players, but I do predict the older firms to be keeping a close eye on the start-up market and making smaller, cheaper acquisitions to get hold of cloud technologies, instead of big buys or developing it themselves.

Regulation, regulation, regulation

The cloud community is still struggling with establishing standards, despite the hard work of more notable organisations like the Cloud Industry Forum. However, I predict the raft of legislation coming from the EU next year – namely from Commissioner Neelie Kroes – will force companies to adhere to a certain set of rules.

As such, stronger standards will follow and, although I am not naïve enough to think everything will be smooth sailing by the end of next year, I think the waters will be a lot less bumpy by the time we hit 2013.

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