UPDATED 16:00 EST / JANUARY 01 2015

A new type of uber-cloud provider will arise, says Equinix, 2015 Tech Predictions

In 2015, hybrid cloud will be everywhere, global expansion will be driven by the cloud, and we will see the rise of a new type of uber-cloud provider, one who has unlimited ability to access and interconnect multiple cloud providers. This is all according to Chris Sharp, Vice President of Cloud Innovation at Equinix, Inc., a global interconnection and data center company.

Sharp’s predictions about enterprise cloud are all part of our second annual Technology Predictions series in which industry experts share their predictions with us about the hot tech trends that they think will take center stage in 2015. We’ll be sharing all of their predictions with you over the next several days. Read on for more from Sharp.SiliconANGLE 2015 Predictions Enterprise Cloud graphic

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Enterprises that will deploy hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures will be the ones to watch in 2015 and beyond. According to Gartner, Inc., global cloud adoption is expected to reach $250 billion by 2017, with 50 percent of enterprises having hybrid clouds. From our vantage point, we can clearly see how the cloud industry is lining up to expand its footprint and forever change the IT landscape. Here are nine critical trends that we believe will make the cloud more integral than ever to businesses in 2015 and beyond.

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Prediction No. 1: The number and types of cloud services embraced by enterprises will rise

Responding to ever-increasing pressures to reduce costs while increasing productivity, enterprise IT departments will sharply increase their adoption of cloud services, definitively shifting the balance from client-server to cloud-delivered applications. While it is currently assumed that most enterprises use 30 to 40 cloud services, most applications continue to be delivered on-premises. By the end of 2015, most enterprises will have the majority of their data storage, backup, disaster recovery and business intelligence (BI) applications delivered by cloud service providers (CSPs). A recent survey by online market research firm Dimensional Research, showed that 77 percent of IT professionals are planning to deploy to multiple clouds within the next 12 months.

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Prediction No. 2: Hybrid cloud will be everywhere

From the Fortune 500 to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs), companies in every sector and in every geography will embrace hybrid cloud architectures and service delivery. Hybrid cloud strategies will offer businesses the best performance at the lowest cost, whether users will access collaboration applications via the public cloud or perform disaster recovery (DR) via a private cloud within a multi-tenant data center. Finding a company using only client-server applications will be extremely difficult by the end of 2015. However, there will always be those cases where making the change to cloud does not make technical, business or “political” sense.

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Prediction No. 3: Global expansion will be driven by the cloud from now on

High-growth enterprises, driving increased revenue through globalization, will increasingly turn to cloud services regardless of geographic location. Rather than build expensive and expansive data centers and applications worldwide, and then hire local IT support staff to run them, companies will lease them from a growing pool of global providers. Companies will not commit capital expenditures (CAPEX) when they realize there’s much more cost-effective operational expenditures (OPEX) solutions available. Global cloud deployments will speed time-to-market (TTM), keep costs low, and maintain consistency of providers and services. In 2015, CIOs at winning companies will commit to the cloud and never look back.

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Prediction No. 4: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will be in demand

CIOs will require SaaS delivery of the applications they need as a foundational element of request for proposal (RFP) development and application selection criteria, eschewing on-site deployments. Winners in the software industry will recognize that server-based deployments are the exception, not the rule, and will place the majority of their development and sales focus on SaaS.

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Prediction No. 5: Self-provisioning cloud services will become the norm

While cloud services offer clear benefits in terms of cost reduction and increased performance, how companies select, secure and maintain them is in flux. Few CIOs have comprehensive visibility into the hundreds of cloud providers developing applications and other services that can help their companies excel. In 2015, smart companies will even outsource the outsourcing of their cloud services. We will see the rise of a new type of uber-cloud provider, one who has unlimited ability to access and interconnect multiple cloud providers and who has the software technology necessary to dynamically and seamlessly provision connections on demand. This new type of uber-cloud provider will greatly accelerate hybrid and multi-cloud adoption.

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Prediction No. 6: Enterprises will say farewell to vendor lock-in

Companies will continue to adopt a variety of best-of-breed solutions that ensure performance and flexibility, which provide choice and interoperability. This will give both network and cloud service providers (who have embraced opportunities to peer with others through third-party exchanges) multiple opportunities for success. Those who rely on vendor lock-in will be scrambling to reevaluate their previously successful business models.

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Prediction No. 7: Third-party multi-tenant data centers will dominate

The current trend of businesses (cloud providers and enterprises alike) migrating to multi-tenant data centers will dominate the cloud landscape. According to the 2014 Talkin’ Cloud100 survey, 86 percent of cloud providers host their services in co-location data centers. On the enterprise side, Dimensional Research recently reported that 45 percent of new cloud-based applications deployed over the next year will be hosted by co-location providers.

Multi-tenant data centers will bring more companies closer together to access a vast number of resources including cloud and network service providers, industry partners and prospective customers. This dense ecosystem will allow for vendor neutrality, fast TTM and access, flexibility, ease of service and cost-savings when deploying and consuming cloud services.

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Prediction No. 8: Companies will adopt private cloud connections to address security concerns

Enterprises deploying multi-cloud architectures will require secure, high-performance private connections that are scalable, on-demand and provide access to multiple clouds using multiple network technologies across multiple global access points. Dimensional Research recently reported that 72 percent of IT professionals note security as a top benefit of a direct connection to cloud providers, recognizing the clear benefits that they provide over access via the public Internet.

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Prediction No. 9: Out over the clouds

Hybrid and multi-cloud computing are paving the way to a plethora of new markets such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet. It is also enabling new technologies such as cloud-based predictive analytics for Big Data as well as many new innovations that have yet to be discovered. 2015 is poised to be the year in which enterprises will take that next “giant leap” to the cloud.

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2015 Technology Predictions graphic courtesy of SiliconANGLE

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