Today, cloud computing touches almost every piece of technology around us, whether it’s a server humming in a company’s IT department or a smartphone in a consumer’s pocket. Many people are not cognizant of the fact that they’re connected to the cloud. Many more take the cloud for granted.
Once, having five people edit a file together in real-time would have been inconceivable, much less running an entire virtual machine in a cloud environment. Certainly, the future of cloud computing holds a great deal of promise for businesses, governments, and other organizations. CIOs and executives are not skimping on their cloud budgets, either.
According to Computer Economics’ spending priority ranking for 2017, as reported by ZDNet, cloud applications represented a spending priority for 67% of organizations and cloud infrastructures represented a spending priority for 52%. These priorities were second only to the highest spending priority which was, not surprisingly, security and privacy (70%).
But these days, cloud pricing concerns often take a backseat to other priorities, like reducing friction and finding cloud services that fit neatly into an organization's infrastructure. Thankfully, the future of cloud computing and cloud buying will offer new means of finding the appropriate cloud services in addition to the many exciting capabilities the cloud promises.
Predictions for the Future of Cloud Computing
In 2016, Gartner predicted that by 2020, “a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today.”
Yefim V. Natis, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said, "as delivery shifts more to the cloud, most IT organizations will have to reorganize 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.”
Many analysts believe cloud-first and cloud-only policies will soon replace legacy systems as the primary avenues for flexibility and scalability. The future of cloud computing has exciting implications for emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and automation, and will dramatically transform the way much of the world operates.
Challenges and barriers remain, however. Many organizations are still concerned about cloud security, wasting their IT spend, and the difficulties of merging proprietary systems that don’t communicate.
Thankfully, solutions to these problems are already emerging. And they begin at the point of purchase.
Buying Cloud Services in the Future
Buying enterprise cloud services is still a process reliant upon legacy sales systems. It’s not uncommon for a CXO, VP, or procurement officer to speak to multiple salespeople by phone and email before making a purchasing decision. The cloud marketplace has its major players, but it’s nearly impossible for cloud purchasers to gain a full understanding of all the options available to them without spending weeks, even months, contacting individual salespeople.
Until now, buying cloud services was a time-consuming process that couldn't be done in a single location.
In the future, consumer e-commerce will serve as a model for the transformation of all sorts of business-to-business transactions. Cloud buying is no exception.
Online cloud marketplaces will allow decision-makers to scan an immense list of cloud options in one place. They’ll be able to compare options based on budget, computing power, location, and service type. Once they’ve created a shortlist of services, the purchaser can simply buy cloud computing services online without needing to speak to a sales representative, if they prefer.
While this may seem far off, it isn’t. Third-party e-commerce marketplaces are already emerging in a number of sectors that were previously dominated by legacy sales models. They are perpetually changing the way we do business and will make cloud buying easier, more efficient, and more cost-effective.