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Cloud computing: What's coming next and how you can help your business to prepare

This device is unable to play the requested video. The cloud is now accepted by almost all CIOs as a standard way to procure systems and services simply and quickly. But as the cloud continues its apparently inexorable rise, how will on-demand IT continue to evolve through the next decade? Four experts give us their view on how to prepare for the future of the cloud. 1. Use the cloud as a platform for innovation Gregor Petri, research vice president at Gartner, says CIOs looking to embrace the cloud must go beyond lifting and shifting existing applications. Rather than thinking of the cloud as a place that runs today’s applications, CIOs looking to the long-term use of the cloud should concentrate on disruption instead. "Focus on a much more applied level of functionality. Look for areas where you can use the cloud as a platform to create unique functionality and a special experience. Many of these experiences will be digital," he says. "And to do that, you need a slew of supporting services, like voice, search and databases, and many of those will be best-supported by the cloud, rather than traditional hardware. Only do what you want to yourself as a business; consume the rest as a service." Petri sees the future of the cloud as a platform for innovation. He says CIOs will use on-demand IT resources as a platform to run emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and even quantum computing. "We’ll be running lots of things in businesses we don’t even have today," says Petri. "These are quite compute-intensive technologies and to get that resource on-premise is a big hurdle. These technologies will also be associated to bursts of activity, so not having to own hardware is attractive." 2. Think about how you might develop localised cloud services Alex von Schirmeister, chief digital, technology and innovation officer at RS Components, says the cloud gives his firm service flexibilities and cost efficiencies that were previously unavailable. Yet despite his own successes, von Schirmeister believes CIOs thinking of making a move to the cloud in the future will still encounter non-IT executives who believe embracing on-demand IT comes with a degree of business risk. If a large cloud-based service goes down, says von Schirmeister, it can wipe out the operational activities of entire companies or even industries. Compliance is also a concern for executives, especially when it comes to the General Data Protection Regulation and the geographical location of data. Must read The regulatory bind of managing cloud arrangements is only likely to increase in the future as governments attempt to legislate for the storage and use of data. The result of this continuing legislation, says von Schirmeister, is that CIOs must consider how they might build much more localised cloud services. "I do think there will increasingly be a notion where various companies start looking at private clouds or virtual clouds that are contained within certain boundaries and barriers," he says. "It may be […]

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