By Juergen Gallmann, CEO of visionapp

Clouds change the general weather. While the new approach was initially the subject of much writing and lots of discussions, the last few months of the decade that is about to draw to a close have clearly shown that cloud computing is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term trend. Cloud computing is changing the rules of the game when it comes to the use of information technology in companies. Jürgen Gallmann, CEO of cloud computing provider visionapp, presents the most important features and challenges of the megatrend for the coming year:

1.CIOs are turning into cloud integration officers: Cloud computing is changing the role of CIOs. In future, they will play a more active role in defining the company’s direction. The “cloud integration officer” combines internal and external services in a cloud architecture and thus makes an important contribution to the company’s success and value. Make or buy decisions are coming to the fore: in future, the CIO will examine even more carefully where services are obtained from. It’s a question of the aggregation of services. Thus the theme of procurement expertise will in future increasingly find its way into central CIO departments.

2. Industrialisation of IT processes: For years, IT was a vehicle for optimising business processes. The efficiency of IT itself is now being put to the test. Activities that can be processed more inexpensively and efficiently via cloud computing platforms are being outsourced. As in the automotive industry, it is a question of combining a wide variety of modules using a uniform, standardised platform in accordance with the requirements of the user — with the maximum degree of automation.

3.IT contracts are changing: Concluding extensive IT contracts in advance is going out of fashion. The customer expects payment models that are based on need and that better support the volatility of their business. Like electricity tariffs and mobile phone offers, companies use — and pay for — IT solutions flexibly and according to individual requirements. Thus capacities are opening up for small and medium-sized companies in the short term that were previously reserved for large companies with XXL infrastructure. This model is attractive for both sides, creates new offers and smoothes the way for all types of inexpensive service offers.

4.Personal cloud in your own home: PCs are turning into personal clouds. Instead of a computer that holds all applications and data locally, the user gets virtually unlimited resources via the cloud, directly on their computer. Cloud computing is thus asserting itself in the private sphere as well. Private users who use cloud technologies at home due to their ease of use are bringing this knowledge into companies. Typical examples include cloudlike services such as virtual drives on the Internet or web applications in social networks. Users are becoming increasingly used to the additional freedom that these flexible services offer them and will demand these at their place of work in future.

5.Trusted clouds are gaining in significance: Cloud providers will increasingly gain new customer groups from among medium-sized businesses and public institutions. Values such as reliability, security and efficiency in particular represent lasting success. Those cloud providers that comply with corresponding guidelines for implementation — and that can prove this — will win out.