Users Get Comfortable, Demand More From Cloud Providers

Capacity on demand is a miracle! What else can you do for me?

U.S.-based companies are a lot more comfortable with cloud computing technology than they were a year or so ago, are happier with the levels of service they're getting from cloud-service providers, but are getting accustomed to the miracle of the cloud, and their expectations are rising, spelling an end to what has been a honeymoon period in the public and hybrid cloud-computing markets, according to a report from IDC.

Access to SAAS and Cloud-based services is becoming increasingly important in a market in which budgets are tight but expectations of IT are high. IT organizations have responded by using virtualization and Cloud Computing as a force multiplier to deliver more power than they could otherwise and raise service levels with services that could increase or decrease available computing resources based on the company's immediate need.

The result for service providers is that generic platform services soon won't be enough. Rather than just a place to run my apps, providers are going to have to provide roadmaps to give customers examples and choices of migration path from which to pick their own plan,   expand the range of their own capabilities with external partnerships and new service offerings, the study showed.

Cloud Computing, while still in its infancy in terms of market size, has tremendous potential for growth during the next five years.   IDC predicts the market will grow five times as fast as traditional IT products, from $16 billion in 2008 to $55.5 billion by 2014. Gartner predicts the cloud computing market will reach $68.3 billion in 2010 and reach $148.8 billion by 2014.

The U.S. share of that business will be 58 percent this year and drop to half by 2014, Gartner's study said.

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