We’ve been seeing for years in our surveys, that business users and application developers are the primary consumers of cloud services. SaaS and cloud platforms are not infrastructure or alternatives to the corporate data center but are instead application services your organization leverages to create new user experiences and greater efficiencies that maximize profitability and derive trends that result in business insights.
In 2015 this realization will become a motivator for vendors and enterprise CIOs to focus their cloud strategies on empowering business and developers first and put aside their own concerns and priorities. In 2015, cloud adoption will accelerate and technology management groups must adapt to this reality by learning how to add value to their company’s use of these services through facilitation, adaptation and evangelism. The days of fighting the cloud are over. This means major changes are ahead for you, your application architecture, portfolio, and your vendor relationships.
What changes are coming in 2015? Forrester clients can read our 10 cloud predictions of what will happen in the coming year along with our recommended actions. For non-clients here’s a look at two key predictions we are making:
1. Microsoft Will Make More Profit From Cloud Than On-premise
While Microsoft’s commercial business (server OS, tools, enterprise applications) revenues will likely remain slanted to the on-premises side, 2015 will demonstrate the greater profitability that comes from CEO Satya Nadella’s cloud-first mandate. Next year, we predict that Microsoft will generate more margin dollars from cloud-based services than it will from its traditional on-premise applications and Windows Server. Under Nadella’s new mandates, its development teams are focused on driving innovation into the cloud versions of its properties first (on-premises second), and its sales engines are all rewarded for pushing as much cloud into each enterprise license agreement as possible. Consequently, Microsoft itself is embracing continuous delivery development methods. In doing so, it will accelerate its own innovation as it realizes the agility benefits from cloud-first delivery.
2. Your Back-Office Applications Will Begin to Speak REST
Your developers are building new systems of engagement using modern application architectures. These apps are not new standalone executables but a composition of services linked together via application programming interfaces (APIs). The easiest way for your Agile developers to accomplish these goals is to connect services that expose RESTful interfaces. Right now, most of these RESTful services come from new ISVs and/or exist as part of a public cloud or SaaS application. If you want your back-office applications to be part of this move forward, relying on traditional integration methods such as enterprise service buses, JDBC connections and SOAP is inadequate for modern applications. You’ll have to evolve your integration architecture to REST in 2015.