Verizon: Major Apps Move Cloud-ward in 2014
Expect to see leading brand-name enterprise apps become more cloud-based in 2014 as cloud services do a better job of securely supporting hybrid cloud environments that give enterprises more confidence to move more core apps into the cloud, a top Verizon Terremark executive is predicting.
John Considine, CTO, Verizon Terremark , says the consumerization of IT is gathering steam and putting greater pressure on IT departments to deliver more functionality and do so at lower cost, thus increasing the attractiveness of pay-as-you-go cloud-based solutions. At the same time, Considine says, cloud service providers such as Verizon are getting better at providing secure cloud connections and easier transitions to cloud services, as well as supporting hybrid cloud environments.
These factors will combine to make 2014 a big year for cloud adoption, Considine says. He is among those telecom execs who have admitted that cloud adoption thus far has been slow, but believes it will still pick up steam, because the underlying trends will continue. (See Enterprises Not Rushing to Embrace Cloud.)
The consumerization of IT, for example, is not new, but it continues to exert an impact as more enterprise employees gain access to sophisticated tools, and expect to be able to use their smartphones and tablets at work. They expect to have the broader access to apps and data that they enjoy as consumers, Considine notes in an interview with Light Reading.
"The cloud is a tool. We have been focusing on making that capable of servicing more apps and more types of workloads," he says. "It is important to support a broader set of apps in the cloud, and we think that is what you will see in 2014. This is a combination of the new architectures, new cloud concepts -- distributed databases and what was traditionally call PaaS or platform as a service, plus higher level languages and apps architectures, all those kinds of things."
Rise and fall
It was an up and down fall for Verizon Terremark. The company unveiled its new cloud services platform with the promise of broader support for enterprise apps in the cloud, smoother transitions, and predictable performance of cloud-based apps and services. But less than a month later, Verizon's Terremark unit was one of the companies getting a bit of a black eye from the failure of the Affordable Care Act's website, as the US Department of Health and Human Services said in late October that a Terremark data hub failure led to an outage of several hours for healtcare.gov. (See Why Verizon Needed a Cloud Reboot and Healthcare.gov Outage Scars Verizon Terremark.)
Considine does remain optimistic about the 2014 prospects. In addition, Verizon remains part of the tech surge team that was called together by the Obama administration to address the ACA website and registration issues.
With the announcement in October of its new cloud services platform, Verizon is heavily focused on working with partners to bring a range of new capabilities and apps to the cloud, believing that businesses have moved beyond the whether stage on cloud to the what stage.
"They know they want to use cloud, they are still deciding what they want to do there," Considine says. "The new platform gives us a space to innovate with partners and with customers across the board. You will see a number of announcements with some very interesting partnerships."
Considine also sees two other trends having an impact on the enterprise market next year: analytics and virtualization. He expects virtualization to hit the enterprise next year, with software-defined networking becoming a campus phenomenon. As for analytics, enterprises like network operators want to be able to use the data they have to gain insight about every aspect of their business.
Verizon has already incorporated SDN into its new cloud platform, and will soon be able to take advantage of virtualization in supporting mobile apps. Considine expects much more movement on that front once Verizon owns 100% of Verizon Wireless, which will happen in 2014.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading