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Hardfacts on Software – Gartner identifies the top 10 strategic technologies for 2012 – the cloud

Ah – the year is really kicking off now – if you haven’t made plans yet what to do this year you might as well start planning your next Christmas holidays. As always the development pace of new technologies is going to increase even more this year. And that’s great. Just imagine how our life has changed over the last couple of years.
I have just finished the Biography of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple and one of the key proponents of usability within software and hardware systems. With Steve not being with us any more, lets hope someone else will take up his quest for disrupting the market now and again and show everyone else what customers want – even the customers themselves! It looks like the team at Apple is poised to fulfil this role for many years to come.
One of the technologies that Apple introduced last year is iCloud. This is a service that moves the centre of your digital hub away from your computer and onto a server farm somewhere on this planet. This is a huge shift and way different to how things were for the last 20 years. Apple by no means was the first company to do this and even in the early 2000’s they got it wrong with a service called Mobileme. Well, this time they are doing it right and redefining how it should be done. Another company doing this right is Dropbox. If you don’t use Dropbox yet – go check it out!
But lets continue our series of Gartner predictions for 2012. The Cloud is number 10 on their list:
“Cloud Computing. Cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries. While the market remains in its early stages in 2011 and 2012, it will see the full range of large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services. Oracle, IBM and SAP all have major initiatives to deliver a broader range of cloud services over the next two years.
As Microsoft continues to expand its cloud offering, and these traditional enterprise players expand offerings, users will see competition heat up and enterprise-level cloud services increase.
Enterprises are moving from trying to understand the cloud to making decisions on selected workloads to implement on cloud services and where they need to build out private clouds. Hybrid cloud computing which brings together external public cloud services and internal private cloud services, as well as the capabilities to secure, manage and govern the entire cloud spectrum will be a major focus for 2012.
From a security perspective new certification programs including FedRAMP and CAMM will be ready for initial trial, setting the stage for more secure cloud computing. On the private cloud front, IT will be challenged to bring operations and development groups closer together using “DevOps” concepts in order to approach the speed and efficiencies of public cloud service providers.
You will probably think that the cloud is not for us, since we don’t have the bandwidth to use it. Well, even in our markets bandwidth costs come down and speeds go up, so we will hit a sweet-spot sometime soon when the cloud really take off. And even if your connection is slow, with a service like Dropbox or iCloud, speed is not really an issue, since your files are synched and not viewed live. Once we have enough speed though, we will also be able to view our TV channels online. That will be a major challenge for your favourite station! I can’t wait for Apple TV!
Until next time then, remember – Keep it (A)fresh

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