Advises IV’s Adam Stern: To Truly Understand Market Forces in 2016, SMB and IT Communities Need to Look Beyond the Hype
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 10, 2015) – In the absence of innovation, semantics will do – and that, according to Adam Stern, founder and CEO of pioneering cloud hosting provider Infinitely Virtual, looms as a real dilemma for IT buyers and users in 2016.
Stern’s counsel: take a deep breath, step back and starve the hyperbole beast of the oxygen it needs to survive. His top predictions for the year ahead share a belief in healthy skepticism and informed decision-making:
o A Cloud Backlash That Really Isn’t.
“In 2016, I’m fully expecting a cloud computing backlash, if it’s not already under way,” Stern said. “The backlash really isn’t about architecture but about language. Any day now, the trend-setters will shift the terminology around — again. Off-premises computing will be combined with on-premises computing, based on different strategies and different types of companies – and they’ll keep doing that indefinitely. Whether it’s called ‘cloud computing’ or not is irrelevant. The words change, and the technology for off-premises will continue to mature, then be re-infused back into on-premises. It’s a bit like the space program, where NASA went to the moon and everyone got Tang; the spinoffs, in other words, are real.”
Per Stern, expect new terminology to surface some time next year. It wasn’t that long ago that everyone was crowing about the “client/server revolution,” he recalled: “From PCs to mainframes, and then PCs behaving like mainframes. Followed by ‘thin client,’ which was just an earlier iteration of today’s BYOD. The cycle repeats itself – it’s a bit more nuanced this time, perhaps, but it’s still the same idea. And hype aside, it feels very much like an evolution, not a revolution.”
o Seattle: Not Cloud HQ Anytime Soon.
Fueled by hiccups from two oversized players, recent reports of the cloud’s death have been greatly exaggerated, Stern noted. “To the degree tech pundits have been checking its pulse, the cloud is presumed to hover in a fixed point somewhere near the Space Needle,” he said. “It will become abundantly clear in 2016 that Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services are not the cloud. The cloud exists precisely for those small and midsize businesses that lack a tech army. Microsoft and Amazon simply aren’t set up to focus on niche segments without a Fortune-style customer in the mix. They thrive on a ‘high volume, low transaction cost’ model, which was never intended to accommodate small and midsize businesses.
“The cloud, however, is nothing if not radically dispersed — it’s a vast ecosystem consisting of thousands and thousands of vendors with offerings tailor-made for verticals and specific markets,” Stern said. “By that measure, Amazon and Microsoft are but two players within a very large landscape, which is why you won’t find many small businesses hanging out with Azure or AWS. The cloud wasn’t even invented in Seattle. That honor goes to VMware, in Silicon Valley, and RedHat, in Raleigh, N.C.”
That said, Amazon and Microsoft will help contribute to a new normal in the cloud market during 2016 by dint of their negative example, he suggested. “Popular discontent with the cloud may well increase as other invariably smaller vendors try to emulate the low-touch Amazon/Microsoft model,” Stern said. “For vendors serving SMBs, that’s a fool’s errand.”
According to Stern, cloud providers who are delivering for small and midsize business have long since validated the efficacy of the cloud. “These providers supply the fuel to keep cloud computing alive and kicking – vigorously,” he said. “There’s plenty of innovating going on in the application containerization space, so I expect to see any number of emerging, VC-driven cloud companies make their mark this coming year. I feel safe in predicting that most of these new players won’t need to be anywhere near Washington State.”
o Security: An Achilles Heel No Longer.
Security has been the cloud’s ostensible Achilles heel virtually since inception, Stern observed. “I say ‘ostensible’ because it’s often been much more about perception than reality,” he said. “In 2016, look for security to improve – both on the merits and in how the user community regards it. New auditing procedures and standards bodies that improve on SAE-style audits will in fact deliver greater security and much more uptime, and offer users that much more peace of mind as a result.”
In Stern’s view, this reflects the maturity of the cloud model — which, he noted, is in its own way yet another proof point on the side of the cloud’s staying power. “Off-premises computing will continue to be a vibrant part of the scene, whatever it may be called – application containerization, Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service, whatever,” he said. “They’re all part of a single unifying movement that isn’t going anywhere in 2016 or anytime soon.”
About Infinitely Virtual
Infinitely Virtual is a leading provider of high quality and affordable Cloud Server technology, capable of delivering services to any type of business, via terminal servers, SharePoint servers and SQL servers – all based on Cloud Servers. Named to the Talkin’ Cloud 100 as one of the industry’s premier hosting providers, Infinitely Virtual has earned the highest rating of “Enterprise-Ready™” in Skyhigh Networks’ CloudTrust™ Program for four of its offerings — Cloud Server Hosting, InfiniteVault, InfiniteProtect and Virtual Terminal Server. The company recently took the #1 spot in HostReview’s Ranking of VPS hosting providers. Infinitely Virtual was established as a subsidiary of Altay Corporation, and through this partnership, Infinitely Virtual provides customers with expert 24×7 technical support. More information about Infinitely Virtual can be found at: http://www.infinitelyvirtual.com, @iv_cloudhosting, or call 866-257-8455.
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