Cloud computing broke new ground this past year, as companies across industries from small to large and across geographies from Hong Kong to Australia invested in cloud services to meet their business needs. And there’s no stopping this demand. As cloud appetite grows, new cloud services and solutions will continue to be born.
In fact, according to VMware’s Cloud Index 2013, 73 percent of businesses in AP deployed cloud or are planning to do so in the next 12 months. Over 30 percent of the businesses surveyed described cloud computing as a top priority for their organization, setting the tone for a new year of opportunities.
The coming twelve months will be a year of growth, however, it will also bring challenges. The omni present issue of security will continue to be an area of emphasis, for example. The headline news surrounding high security data leaks that continue to consume much of public and political concern means that businesses are becoming more vigilant about data protection, more so than ever before. Issues around personal cloud use will also keep CIOs on their toes, as we’ll begin to see a shift from security conversations around bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to bring-your-own-cloud (BYOC).
One of the biggest trends that will emerge will be around cloud customization, giving users the ability to tailor their cloud to meet individual or unique business needs. Users will also have a choice of proprietary clouds, so they can compare feature sets, as well as a choice of open-source clouds, another avenue for cloud customization.
Open-source, in particular, is gaining momentum in Asia, as shown by the OpenStack Foundation’s selection of Hong Kong as the location to host its first summit outside the U.S. In the coming year, we’ll see more and more interest and demand for AP developers to create applications towards customized clouds. Think of what Android did with mobile phones and take that concept to the cloud.
2014 will also be the year that Hong Kong gets a tighter grip on cloud centrality.
Hong Kong has established itself as a regional cloud hub in terms of real estate and network infrastructure and its position as a stepping-stone for China-based cloud companies who are looking to expand internationally and use Hong Kong as a gateway for global expansion. Likewise, global cloud companies expanding into China are also looking to Hong Kong for deployment, as the onboarding point.
However, there is still a large opportunity for Hong Kong to increase its status as a cloud hub, given that it currently does not have a dominant cloud computing player in the market.
To get there, innovation will be key. There will need to be numerous steps and initiatives implemented to boost innovation and IT development in the city, whether it be forming workshops to promote the benefits of cloud computing or developing programs that enable the community to take cloud computing to the next level.
We look forward to seeing what 2014 will bring.