Keeping up with Cloud 2.0

Staff writer
12 Sep 2012

The cloud is the future, the future is now, and telcos around the world are making moves to incorporate cloud-based technologies and services into their strategies. But while many telcos may "get" the cloud, they may not be embracing it enough, and still risk being left behind as the IT world goes virtual.

So said a recent research report from Telco 2.0 Research. According to the report, while some telcos have gained a greater understanding of the cloud market, and are offering increasingly rich cloud-based products and services, "for most telcos, cloud services remain secondary to their core business of voice and data delivery. Telcos are wrestling with issues of reduced margin on cloud and how to stay relevant to their business customers."

Indeed, cloud is not an easy thing for the average telco to get its head around, not least because "cloud" is a term that gets bandied about somewhat carelessly, and it's challenging to suss the realistic capabilities and revenue opportunities of any new technology at the peak of its hype cycle.

And cloud is reaching that peak now, says research firm Gartner. According to its "2012 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" report, released last month, hybrid cloud computing has just entered the "Peak of Inflated Expectations", which private cloud computing has just left, while cloud computing has just entered the "Trough of Disillusionment". Hosted virtual desktops has just exited said trough, and is starting to climb up the "Slope of Enlightenment", and is expected to reach the "Plateau of Productivity" in two to five years.

All of which essentially means that cloud computing is reaching its tipping point, although it may help to remember that Gartner's Hype Cycle tends to look at technology trends in the context of the bigger picture. For example, "big data and global scale computing at small prices" is one group of tipping point technologies that, according to Gartner, presents a scenario in which analytic insight and computing power are nearly infinite and cost-effectively scalable.

The enabling technologies for that scenario include quantum computing, the various forms of cloud computing, big data, complex-event processing, social analytics, in-memory database management systems, in-memory analytics, text analytics and predictive analytics.

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