Cloud Computing: More Cost-Effective Marketing Services Delivery

cloud computing I usually only write about B2B Marketing, but when I came across some interesting insights on cloud computing trends (courtesy of Information Management Magazine) called 5 Cloud Trends for 2013 and Beyond – I knew this was an opportunity to combine my passion for marketing and technology. The cloud is revolutionizing business as we know it today.  Small companies now have the means to be on the same playing field as larger organizations.

As far as marketing, the cloud computing model represents a breakthrough with the introduction of a more simplified and cost-effective way for the delivery of marketing services. Indeed, many marketing automation specialists and digital marketers alike, are embracing the cloud today.

There is a lot to like about the cloud. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud model is growing rapidly in user adoption and represented by popular subscription-based companies such as and Dropbox.  SaaS offers software and technical services that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive and difficult to manage for many organizations, particularly small businesses. The provider makes it easy for the consumer, looking after all software development, maintenance and upgrades.

Marketers gravitate towards these type of solutions because they are quicker and easier to implement without much need of the IT department`s resources than typical on-premise solutions.

The Information Management cloud trends slide presentation is found next in its entirety in an easy-to-read format (minus the advertising). I enjoyed reading about the advent of the “personal cloud,“ whereby the workspace is no longer location bound – the availability of online services accessible everywhere and on any type of device will be the new normal.  Content is considered to be more secure in the “personal cloud“ world, with data found within the protective, centralized confines of the data center.

5 Cloud Trends for 2013 and Beyond

Organizations have almost every technology available “as-a-service,” from platforms to infrastructure and beyond. And cloud isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to IDG Research, enterprises will spend an average of $1.5M on cloud services by the end of 2014. So what trends should you look for in 2013 and the years beyond?

1) Creating Strategic Models for Cloud Service Consumption

A recent Gartner survey revealed that an internal cloud services brokerage is emerging, whose job it is to improve the provisioning of cloud services for employees and external business partners. As organizations add more and more cloud providers to the mix, this role will become vital.

2) Software Defined Networking (SDN)

The increased adoption of cloud server providers will bring SDN to the forefront. SDN brings agility to networks in the same way that virtualization brings agility to servers. To ensure a successful cloud strategy, Gartner recommends organizations consider “open, standard northbound controller APIs to maximize flexibility and minimize lock-in,” and make sure that internal teams coordinate to maximize the advantages of a software-controlled data center.

3)  Creating “Webscale” Systems

More idealistically, cloud computing aims to create “Webscale” systems: extremely large systems that have this ability to expand and contract as needed. Carl Claunch, VP analyst at Gartner, commented that this scale could reach up to “hundreds of thousands of transactions per section, rates that we aren’t conceiving of with traditional, internal IT,” during Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013 Webinar. Just as quickly, these systems should be able to shrink or completely disappear once a project is completed (I would imagine the large financial institutions will be attracted to this).

4)  Addressing “Shadow Cloud”

The personal cloud is replacing the PC as the “location” where people keep their personal content, according to Claunch. Now employees have come to expect that level of access to corporate documents. And this trend will only continue to grow until enterprises can no longer ignore it (similar to the shadow IT concept, the shadow cloud is unsanctioned use of IT resources by end-users). IT will need to address the assess how to enable secure, sanctioned employee access information or face the challenge and risk unsecure workarounds (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive, personal email, etc.)

5)  Spending in Cloud Services will Continue to Rise

It almost goes without saying that investment in cloud computing will continue to grow, with spending up 10 percent over 2012. According to the 2013 IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study, in 2013 large companies (defined as those with more than 1,000 employees) will spend $2.8M, with SMBs investing an average of $486K. Investment in SaaS and IaaS will be particularly strong, growing from 8 percent in 2012 to 13 percent in 2013 and 7 percent in 2012 to 10 percent 2013, respectively.

Interesting Times for Marketers

I believe we are entering an exciting time for marketers as Information Technology and the cloud set the stage for business innovation and productivity improvement, together with enhanced collaboration and information sharing.

Now imagine all that information being amassed, presenting vast opportunities for “Big Data“ analysis. The marketing analysts must be salivating.

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