Every 15 years or so, the IT world undergoes a tectonic shift. Technological forces collide and grind against one another, creating an upheaval that leaves the landscape irrevocably changed. The latest such shift is currently underway: the transition to computing as a service, also known as cloud computing. This change promises to make computing more like a utility such as electricity or telephony — users plug in and get the resources they need without much manual effort on the part of service providers.
Cloud computing has brought these benefits to Internet titans like Google, Salesforce.com and Amazon, and to their customers. Traditional enterprise IT has long aspired to the same advantages, but with a crucial distinction. Businesses want the option of greater control over governance, security and management that comes with using their own infrastructure. This report looks at the future for hardware and software in enterprise adoption of cloud-like systems, or “private clouds,” as well as the role that major players are likely to take in its ongoing development.