Placing My Bets: A Year of Firsts in the Cloud for 2012

Today, in Forbes, I offer my predictions for what’s to come in cloud during 2012. It will be a year of firsts: major acquisitions, rapid cloud adoption, a new class of cloud employees and major security breaches are all in store. Here’s a preview:

1. More Clouds Across Businesses Everywhere

Over the past few years, we’ve seen cloud technologies being adopted across companies of all sizes, regions and verticals. And I’m not just talking about consumers and small businesses. Whether it’s oil pipeline manufacturers in Oklahoma, pharmaceutical companies across the nation, entire universities or global non-profit organizations, they’re all looking past ‘on-premise’ and putting their businesses in the clouds.

And that’s because they’re seeing the benefits — the savings over on-premise systems, of course, but also mobility, efficiency and hiring. (More on that later.) This trend will continue in 2012. It will be the first year in which more than 15 percent of business apps will be delivered through the cloud.

2. The ‘Cloud CIO’ is Born

The CIO is no longer the gatekeeper of an organization. End users now have more choice of and simplicity across consumer applications, and they expect the same level of convenience in the workplace, too. Accordingly, IT’s role has shifted to empower employees with secure access to the cloud apps they want and need — anytime, anywhere and on any device. That’s why the ‘Cloud CIO’ moniker will emerge in 2012.

Expect the ‘Cloud CIO’ to be someone who recognizes the benefits of a ‘cloud-first’ approach to IT, not only because of its benefits for their own team, but for all the company employees. Their experience has just shown these vendors to have the manpower and know-how to maintain and support a constantly available system and to support workforces of any size.

To read the rest of the piece, please visit Forbes.