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Cloud Computing is more than just cloud - it's about digital awareness

Cloud is being driven by a new set of drivers and we’d better get use to them.

In the last few years cloud computing has been making a lot of noise and a steady inroad into mainstream IT service delivery.

This has been driven as much from consumer services like iCloud as well as from business applications like Google Apps or SalesForce. But as I look across the cloud space today I can’t but notice a shift coming in people’s perception of the new digital world we now live in, this version 2 of the digital age will look and operate far differently than the last twenty years of the original digital age.

This shift has already become noticeable in corporate businesses who can see that, not only are we living in a new digital age, but one that needs to be at the heart of its future success. We will see a new role appear of chief digital officer, who will be responsible not just for the digital content of the business but who will oversee a myriad areas from social media, security and the underlining delivery of their services.

Gartner recently revealed at its conference in Orlando that it sees the central focus of IT shifting to consist of social media innovations, mobile devices, web information, and cloud computing. Cloud computing, together with mobile devices, is set, according to Gartner, to alter the modern corporation’s primary architecture of computing. Instead of focusing on client/server, IT shops and business units must now set their sights on cloud/client architecture.

This new focus is not only how we access our data, but where the data resides and what jurisdiction it’s governed by. As cloud computing becomes the IT delivery service of choice and mobile devices become the de facto method to access this ever-growing amount of digital content, it will drive an increasing need to focus on a way of engaging clients with a new digital charter.

As both businesses’ and consumers’ knowledge and understanding of everything digital increases, a new digital charter will become paramount. It will need to be truly transparent in the way it operates, covering areas such as service level agreements that will need to be straight forward and easy to understand yet cover all the aspects of the service that’s being delivered. The whole area of data protection will become very visible and jurisdictions that can clearly show that they have a well regulated system that protects client’s data from unauthorised access including government as well as organised crime will emerge as places to service digital content.

As I discussed in my previous blog post I believe that service providers that give these new areas of focus the level of investment and priority they will require, will benefit massively as the trend towards an ever-increasing digital world gains even more momentum. The Chief Digital Officer will, as mentioned, become a key part of any successful business not just IT service providers but every business of any size will need to refocus on a new way of engaging and working with its clients through a new digital charter.

The new vertical cloud providers that are starting to emerge who, as I’ve discussed before focus in certain areas and jurisdictions, will also become very commonplace, and they will rise to the challenge of delivering a service in a digital age where the clients’ expectations and understanding will be far greater than todays.

For me, so much has changed from a digital perspective already, in a short space of time, that the next couple of years will become the time that the real digital age began and that it was the advent of cloud computing and mobility that formed its foundations.

By Julian Box, Posted 4th December 2012.