With the coming of the new year we often have time over the break to reflect on the experiences we’ve had and weigh up the good and the bad lessons from them.  The team at Abiquo have been discussing exactly that, preparing for the year ahead, spending the time to take a good look around at the industry, review research materials from analysts, interpret the projections made by others and relate those to real conversations about real problems with our colleagues and customers.

From what we’ve read, it seems as though everything ‘cloud’ is moving in the right (and upwardly) direction. Just about every ‘cloud’ technology (and there are at least 20 so called goldmines) seems poised to make significant inroads and grow in their respective markets. On the surface, it appears that the ‘cloud’ computing model has finally been recognised by industry and consumers alike across the globe.

Is that right? Personally speaking, I’ve been working on ‘cloud’ projects for different organisations now for over a decade and I know I am not alone. Has it really taken 10 years to finally become recognised? How ironic then that in 2012, the term ‘cloud’ has become a bit of a dirty word. It seems as though everything is cloud, everyone is doing it, everyone has a solution ready for it and everyone is going to win from it.

Sure, there are going to be some advances this year and we do believe that we will see a shift towards certain technologies – but not all things ‘cloud’ will win out – not when some of those ideas, innovations and concepts overlap or even compete. In fact, rather than having a clear view of what to expect in the year ahead, the view is, despite how much we polish the crystal ball, much more ‘cloudy’ than that.

Innovation in the market is a great thing, but let’s be honest for a moment – too much of it can bring along some nasty side effects too – disruption, uncertainty, risk and confusion. That’s actually what almost all of the customers and prospects we speak with report – and worse, they are still trying to reach the promised land that the ‘cloud’ projected for them when they first started. Why?

The reality is that business is still struggling with the basics – it’s proven much more complicated for them to integrate the ‘cloud’ technologies together than they expected, the task of virtualising the different compute resources within the business, let alone the storage technologies and networking architectures, can be overwhelming, with time and resources being spent maintaining systems and processes which instead should have been updated and automated. It results in a business that is still seeking the agility, flexibility and cost savings that they expected to result from the changes and therefore the end users see little change to their working lives, who are left requesting services and solutions from IT in the same way they did 5 years ago.

So although we have identified a few key areas for Abiquo to focus on in the year ahead (we will speak about those later) we wanted to outline what we consider a very important focus for us in 2013 – and simply put – that’s to make the lives of people who run the cloud easier – Provide an open platform that easily integrates with their existing technologies and eliminates the risks of them adopting technology dead-ends. We’ll make it easier and faster for the business to automate the day to day IT tasks that they spend their time managing today to reduce their operational costs and we’ll ensure that they can capitalise on their improved agility and bring solutions and services to market faster.

We’ll talk soon about which innovations we feel are the right ones to follow for the future, but for now, it’s time we did something about the problems that the market faces today!