In addition, cloud has become the default platform to launch new projects, “from creating new mobile apps to rebuilding legacy enterprise internal systems,” said Sonian’s Arnette. The leading public clouds—such as Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Cloud, and Microsoft Azure Cloud—have gained traction “because they have both market momentum and significant resources to support extreme innovation,” he added. This innovation is made possible for two reasons: cloud continually reduces the cost of the service while at the same time adding new features.
The Journey to Database in the Cloud
The journey to database in the cloud basically started with Salesforce.com, said Capgemini’s Hunter. “This was the first industrialized use of cloud-based data and application access. Salesforce.com’s success has allowed for greater adoption of cloud storage for data. It helped temper fears of releasing data to a cloud and broke down the barriers to institutions wanting to maintain all control and management of data and data-related infrastructure.
Many types of data and applications are moving to the cloud. “Cloud enables access to cool new applications, like enterprise social and collaboration applications, which can now be provisioned via a utility model,” Another advantage, said Gerry Grealish, CMO of Perspecsys, a provider of cloud data protection solutions, is that “I just pay for the seats I need, and when I do not need them any more I simply shut it off.”
Typical applications being deployed on the cloud include virtual server workloads, virtual desktop infrastructure, hosted file storage, email and collaboration, backup and recovery, hosted PBX and VoIP, and sales analytics, such as the capabilities provided through Salesforce, related Peter Smothers, director of sales engineering with Xamin, a provider of IT services to financial institutions and companies in highly regulated industries.
The first wave of cloud and SaaS applications “were based on individual or departmental needs,” said Daniel Kuperman, director of product marketing at Axcient, a provider of recovery-as-a-service technology. These include “CRM for sales, email marketing and marketing automation for marketing professionals, human capital management for the HR team, tech support, and others.” The next wave of cloud and data as a service applications that are emerging include “cross-departmental applications and also those that bring value to the core of IT operations,” he continued. “Business analytics, security, data protection and recovery are among the ones that have great promise.”