So here are a few cloud sub-trends, so to speak, that we should expect to see a lot more about in 2013:
Hybrid cloud models
Gavin declared that "hybrid is the future" for cloud computing.
"With the emergence of cloud-based UC, adoption of hybrid solutions encompassing a combination of cloud and premise will significantly increase," Gavin explained. "In the next few years, we’ll see additional applications, such as voicemail transcription and email-based fax services, available as cloud services. Vendors that that offer hybrid solutions in 2013 will be better positioned for growth."
Crandell posited that if enterprises are not already working toward a hybrid cloud solution, they will be by the end of 2013.
"This approach makes it easier for enterprises and startups alike to manage their infrastructure –- from geographical advantages (having clouds close to customers) to increased performance and better compliance capabilities," he added.
The cloud storage market -- both for consumers and the enterprise -- emerged as very competitive space in 2012, and that is sure to continue next year with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and more.
But from an end-user standpoint in the enterprise world, VMware's chief technology officer Steve Herrod said in a blog post recently that he expects "to see even more customers virtualize their storage environment and move towards a more policy-based management approach."
The Red Hat storage team published their own predictions last week, also in accord with the potential for hybrid cloud models.
But the open source purveyors also defended that the philosophy at the backbone of Red Hat will also give way to new and "unified approach" for enterprise storage based on "community-driven innovation."
Community-driven innovation is the hallmark of a true open source approach to solving enterprise storage problems. For example, the emerging area of big data alone has more than 100 distinct open source ‘big data’ projects with thousands of software developers contributing code, enhancing features, and increasing stability. It is hard to match this pace of innovation when software is being written within a vendor’s four walls. We predict enterprises will gravitate toward the open source approach to solving real-world storage challenges. Projects including GlusterFS, ceph, Apache Hadoop, and MongoDB already see an uptick in community involvement and enterprise adoption. And, we anticipate this trend will continue unabated in 2013.
This is one that everyone loved to talk about in 2012, but it wasn't evident that everyone knew exactly what they were talking about.
Duke S. Skarda, chief technology officer at SoftLayer, a global cloud infrastructure platform provider, said that we should expect to see more solution-oriented delivery models when it comes to addressing big data concerns.
"In 2013, I believe we'll reach a point where enterprises and Internet companies will have a clearer view of how best to combine solutions to solve their real-world problems using the cloud ecosystem," Skarda said. "As cloud infrastructure and applications mature, users will seek more robust solutions that enable them to move from their own datacenters, more effectively manage big data and gain business agility."
Interestingly, social was one topic that didn't seem to come up as much -- at least when it comes to the enterprise. While it is inevitable that social technologies will advance considerably next year, perhaps they just won't be as buzzworthy as they were in 2012.
Nevertheless, Crandell remarked that "the public cloud will evolve as the de facto infrastructure for enterprises running mobile and social applications."
For more 2013 predictions and forecast coverage on ZDNet: