Cloud computing trends in 2015

According to a recent report by Gartner, cloud computing is one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015. A strategic technology trend has "the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years."

David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said there are three major themes within the tech trends for the new year: 

  • the merger of real and virtual worlds
  • technological impact of the digital business shift
  • the concept of intelligence everywhere

The last theme is related to a variety of the the trends predicted for 2015, including computing everywhere, smart machine learning and the Internet of Things. Cloud computing is a key element of all of those technologies.

The Gartner study suggested that in 2015, companies will begin to focus on promoting applications that are centrally coordinated and can port across multiple devices.

"Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style," said Cearley. "While network and bandwidth costs may continue to favor apps that use the intelligence and storage of the client device effectively, coordination and management will be based in the cloud."

The large scale shift to the cloud is undeniable, and many industry experts believe the technology will only become more popular in the new year. But what kinds of changes and improvements will be seen with the cloud in 2015? InformationWeek editor-at-large Charles Babcock made some predictions about what the next 12 months have in store for cloud computing. Below are some of the top predictions:

Enterprises will move an increased number of workloads to the cloud
While much has been made in the past about enterprise cloud adoption, it has mostly been talk up until this point. Now, companies are starting to actually implement the technology and this trend will continue into 2015. A recent study by IDG Enterprise revealed that 69 percent of organizations currently have a least part of their IT infrastructure hosted in the cloud, and investments in the technology have increased 19 percent in the last two years.

Software-defined security will become the new norm
With the rising success of software-defined networking technology, a growing number of providers are beginning to offer software-defined security. Babcock suggested that this method will become a bigger part of the software-defined data center and will be used to protect workloads in the cloud.

"In the software-defined data center, software mapping systems identify system perimeters and feed intelligence into a central monitoring system," Babcock explained. "That mapping capability must be extended to define the permissions and activities allowed to the software system, with a surveillance agent ensuring that it adheres to only those activities. Any exceptions must trigger an inspection and potential intervention. "

Greater use of public cloud infrastructures in business
As cloud environments have gotten safer, a rising number of CIOs have started using both public and private clouds in order to give business teams the tools they need to succeed quickly. While most organizations will likely always employ a private cloud environment for at least a portion of their businesses, many are starting to see the benefits of utilizing public platforms for less sensitive systems and processes.

IoT and big data platforms increase cloud use
As the Gartner study suggested earlier, the IoT will become even more popular in the new year; as it does, an increasing number of organizations will utilize the information created by the connected devices to benefit big data initiatives. Such a massive amount of data will have to be stored somewhere, and the cloud will see a major boost in enterprise investment as companies deploy Hadoop and other big data programs.