Now that the cloud has matured, there’s a clearer picture of what’s going to end up in the cloud over the long haul and what won’t, Forrester researchers say.

The future of IT isn’t in the cloud: Forrester

Cloud computing is not the future of IT and commoditisation is, says analyst house Forrester, although the two support each other.

Forrester says that as a result of commoditisation and modernisation,IT portfolios will evolve over time so that many applications willbecome suitable for cloud deployment, but many willnot.

James Staten, an analyst at Forrester, says in a report: “Noteverything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes,data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietarysolutions that can’t take advantage of cloud economics. For this reasonwe’ll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now.”

The “Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready” report, which is part ofForrester’s “Playbook on Cloud Computing”, urges CIOs to “leveragecloud services today and reap the early education from doing so” togain competitive advantage in the future.

The Playbook on Cloud Computing is a framework for adopting the cloud,going into detail on the benefits and disadvantages of public andprivate clouds, cloud economics, and addresses “cloudwashing” – theefforts by a number of vendors in branding their “business-as-usual ITservices” and virtualisation products as “cloud” offerings.

The Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready report says: “Long term,enterprises will have a hybrid portfolio of cloud and non-cloudworkload deployments that uses these options to optimise resource andagility requirements.”

It adds: “In this future state the majority of system workloads will becloud-resident while your own systems of record will evolve to cloud ata slower but deliberate pace. The end result will be a mixedenvironment managed through a decision tree and a series of workloadautomation systems that ensure governance and regulatory complianceacross this portfolio.”

The report also warns that those companies that have chosen a privatecloud architecture as their main cloud strategy will not realise thesavings that can be made through public cloud services or through anarchitecture that combines both public and private cloud ITcapabilities – usually known as a hybrid cloud architecture.

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