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The cloud has become an innovation powerhouse, offering businesses of all sizes the opportunity to develop new business models, forge closer ties with customers, and tap into the expertise of employees and partners. While the cloud was initially adopted for efficiency and cost savings, it has now emerged as a crucial tool for companies to stay ahead of the competition.

The next generation of cloud computing will deliver value to businesses faster by automating everything from request to deployment and configuration, up and down the stack and across the entire infrastructure. To achieve these goals, there are five platform requirements:

  1. A management platform that produces a high degree of service flexibility.
  2. A platform that can support multiple constituencies.
  3. A platform that is not tied to a single infrastructure.
  4. An intelligent platform.
  5. A platform that is integrated with existing enterprise management technology and processes.

One of the key developments in the cloud industry is the emergence of the Intercloud. This new cloud computing service model is based on combining many different individual clouds into one seamless mass in terms of any on-demand operations. The intercloud makes sure that a cloud can use resources beyond its reach by taking advantage of pre-existing contracts with other cloud providers.

Another trend is the implementation of OpenStack, which delivers a massively accessible cloud operating system. OpenStack is an open-source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) initiative for creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers in a cloud computing environment. The goals of the OpenStack initiative are to support interoperability between cloud services and allow businesses to build cloud computing and cloud services in their data centres. One of the greatest selling points of OpenStack is its incredible flexibility and versatility.

Big data as a service (BDaaS) is a term used to refer to services that offer analysis of large or complex data sets using cloud-hosted services. Similar types of services include software as a service (SaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where specific BDaaS options are used to help businesses handle what the IT world calls big data or sophisticated aggregated data sets that provide a lot of value for today’s companies. Recently, IBM announced a new business unit for launching Watson-based cloud computing services named Watson Discovery Advisor to help researchers from different fields who want to analyze gigantic volumes of data to find out the resulting pattern for developing the research ideas. This platform is based on IBM Watson, the cognitive computing system available through the cloud.

Platform as a service (PaaS) is another trend that continues to grow. More companies will be looking to adopt PaaS solutions in the upcoming years. PaaS allows businesses to lower IT costs while speeding up application development through more efficient testing and deployment.

Running high-end graphics applications typically requires massive hardware infrastructure, but cloud computing along with cloud storage is changing that with emerging cloud-based graphics technologies. End-users will run graphically intense applications using nothing more than a web browser.

Another trend is the adoption of a hybrid cloud, which is a combination of private and public clouds, enabling IT to use on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure seamlessly for cost reduction, bursting, disaster recovery, and other use cases. The key to hybrid cloud acceptance in the marketplace is providing this “seamless” capability for all applications, including those production applications that are core to the business.

Cloud technology provides a common platform for mobile, social, and big data applications to hybridize as well as enhance and extend existing investments. Cloud as an innovation platform will give businesses the agility to respond quickly to new innovations, such as wearable technology or speech and gesture interaction with applications.

Look for the Internet of Things (IoT) to start transforming operations in the coming years, as solutions combining intelligent machines, big data analytics, and end-user applications begin to roll out across major industries. Cloud computing platforms will play a big role in this evolution.

The use of personal devices and cloud services in the workplace, known as BYOD, is becoming more prevalent and is expected to continue expanding. To incorporate personal cloud services into the enterprise, IT executives are implementing techniques like mobile device management. To enhance security in the cloud, identity management solutions will be sought after in 2015 and beyond. Virtualization and centralized control of infrastructure, or software-defined hardware, are necessary for applications to achieve massive scalability. This trend is not limited to software-defined networks but includes every system in the data center.

Heavyweight tech companies are not just investing in their cloud computing but also focusing on cloud storage as well as cloud security in order to build their complete infrastructure on cloud services, so what do you predict for the future of cloud technology?

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