2015 Crystal Ball Gazing
Growth of Microsoft Azure
MS Azure is on its way. Microsoft have often been late to the party when it comes to significant technological change. However, they have usually proved to be excellent at playing catch-up and then becoming a dominant player. Cloud computing is no different.
Amazon and Google have been offering “Public Cloud” services for a number of years and although MS claim Azure has been around for over 10 years, they have only really been marketing it as a “Public Cloud” for the last year or so. That being said, they are now pushing hard to make Azure the “Public Cloud” of choice. If past experience is anything to go by, once the MS juggernaut gets into gear, very little can stop it. Expect to see a lot more of MS Azure during 2015.
Further hype of cloud
The term “Cloud” has become one of those things that everybody wants, almost without question. The key thing to remember is that there is no single definition of the term “Cloud”. There are very different service offerings available, all called “Cloud”, some of which may be suitable for you, many of which will not be suitable.
Gartner have produced a very sensible report entitled “The Top 10 Cloud Myths”, which, as the name suggests, attempts to debunk the hype that surrounds the term “Cloud”. It advises businesses to “Avoid 'One Size Fits All' Answers to Complex Situations” and that “Cloud Is Not One Thing”. A particular favourite is “Myth 2: You Have to Be Cloud to Be Good”. The point is that, like all technology, Cloud fits some business cases and doesn’t fit others. The skill is being able to identify which option is best for your business.
That being said, revenue streams are much healthier for suppliers that sell cloud based services, so expect more hyperbole as they try to sell their services regardless of the business case.
Rename of Lync to Skype for Business
One of the more surprising snippets to emerge at the end of 2014 was the announcement that MS are renaming Lync, their Unified Communications platform, to Skype for Business. It is surprising because Skype is definitely in “Consumer Technology” camp. Whilst it has been around for a long time and millions of people use it, it has never been touted as business class technology.
MS Lync is/was a very good product, and it has become more affordable for the “Medium Sized Enterprise”. However, giving it the name of a consumer based free phone call product, doesn’t seem that smart. There was a time when brand perception was everything. With this move, Microsoft are telling us that brand awareness is more important. Time will tell whether they are correct, but I guess they probably are.