Forrester's 2015 cloud predictions: Docker rises, storage pricing war claims lives

The market analysis company lays out what it sees as the top 10 major cloud developments that will shape the business landscape over the next year.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Cloud computing is a disruptive technology, and resistance to its power is futile.

This is the premise surrounding the latest set of 2015 predictions from Forrester Research, in which the market analysis company lays out what it sees as the top 10 major cloud developments that will shape the business landscape over the next year.

"The landscape for cloud computing changes quickly, so your business technology agenda must adapt just as rapidly," the report states. "Your business will earn an early mover advantage by keeping ahead of these changes." 

For Microsoft, cloud will trump on-premises. Thanks to CEO Satya Nadella’s cloud-first strategy, Microsoft could be set to generate more of its revenue from its cloud services than its traditional on-premises applications, Forrester says. For businesses, this means there’s an opportunity to have the upper hand when it comes time to negotiate contracts, as sales teams will want to push as much cloud as possible into each enterprise license agreement.

Back-office applications will need RESTful interfaces. Developers tasked with linking together apps via APIs are going to be on the lookout for services that communicate via REST interfaces, Forrester says. But rather than waiting for REST APIs via an upgrade, companies will look to replace their enterprise service with an API management solution.

Cloud data breaches are a sure thing. Forrester doesn’t mince words with this one, saying that CIOs should expect to encounter a breach in the cloud – and that it will be their fault, not the SaaS provider. "The culprits will likely be common process and governance failures such as poor key management or lack of training or perimeter-based thinking by your security department," the report states. "A breach of some form is inevitable."

Docker containers will cement their place. Companies ranging from Google to eBay have jumped on the Docker bandwagon, and Forrester recommends that others follow suit. "Docker is not a fad. It marks a new approach that delivers real benefits, and it is here to stay."

Hybrid cloud management will finally mature. Forrester says that in 2015, enterprises will start to figure out how to use the tools that are available to expose private cloud resources to their developers, so long as they stop creating artificial boundaries between private and public clouds and their management tools. 

Managed private clouds will face a death spiral. The on-premise, remotely managed private cloud is a doomed model, Forrester says. Not only does it offer enterprises no lasting value, it poses far more challenges than potential benefits. Forrester sees managed private clouds dwindling significantly over the next year.

Industry-specific SaaS will surge. For SaaS vendors, the coming year will be ripe with vertical expansions. The reason? To better appeal to enterprise customers, Forrester says. Expect to see Workday break out from education and government, and for Salesforce.com to throw their hat in, too.

SaaS vendors tiptoe toward hybrid. Forrester expects to see SaaS vendors that focus on public-only multi-tenant deployments to begin offering a more hybrid model that includes some on-premise implementations.

Cloud storage pricing wars will claim lives. Basic online backup is not a sustainable businesses when fronted on its own, Forrester says. The companies that realize this the fastest will obviously have a better shot at avoiding casualties. "In 2015, enterprise online backup providers must either make the leap to disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) and provide workload availability in addition to data protection or prepare to suffer a similar fate to Symantec Backup Exec cloud."

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