12 cloud predictions of Christmas: The lynchpin of governance

Eric Blum, EMEA chief technology officer at BMC Software, tell us what he thinks will happen in cloud computing during 2012.

If 2011 is remembered as the big-bang year for cloud computing, 2012 will see the accelerated evolution of cloud as the mainstay of IT deployments. With that, I predict some key themes emerging.

I am basing my predictions on the many conversations I’ve had with CIOs this year. In preparing these predictions I’ve also kept in mind the four key management considerations for CIOs - quality of service (QoS), financial performance, compliance and security.

Multi-sourcing becomes the norm

As we continue to get through the economic turmoil, CIOs will learn to multi-source the delivery of the business services. They will move from a few suppliers with fixed contracts, to best of class suppliers for workplace services, infrastructure capabilities, on-demand applications and SaaS with flexible pricing models.

One company I spoke with recently already has 27 sources in his services portfolio.

While pursuing cost reduction, CIOs will invest in new process and organisation alignment to effectively manage this varied community, giving special attention to service definition and performance.

As a result, the concept of the cloud service broker will start to gain traction.

Consumerisation evolves into Open

‘Open enterprises’ will be the new ‘norm’ in 2012. We will soon see environments where tablets and
mobile devices outnumber PCs. This trend will materialise as companies improve or transform their business operations with those new capabilities.

Users who discover new applications and ways of operating to increase their productivity will promote their use to colleagues using enterprise social networking software, which in turn will increase the number of configurations that need to be supported.

Embracing the context-aware concept will put the IT department at the forefront of enabling more effective use of IT to achieve business growth. Speed in discovering, verifying and developing policies for new devices, applications and services will be a key requirement to avoid the delay in the use of new configurations to guarantee security.

However, CIOs will accelerate virtual desktop deployments to reduce these challenges and cost effectiveness will be proven.

Lastly, quality of the end-user experience will achieve another level in this context, and Employee Relationship Management (ERM), will gain popularity.

IT governance is lynchpin for cloud success

The key to successfully embracing multi-sourcing and consumerisation will be increasing the importance of compliance and security. This will ensure the explosion of suppliers, devices and configurations is not exponentially inflating the risks to an unacceptable level of exposure.

ITIL standards, as a proven set of best practices, will only gain more momentum, including service costing and charge back for a new engagement model between business operations and IT service providers.

Only an integrated service management platform can address the needs of this new diverse and fast
changing IT environment.

For me these key predictions mean that IT service management will be critical in 2012.

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