Forrester predicts cloud and mobile convergence

News Rene Millman Dec 11, 2012

Analyst firm forecasts the two big trends that will increasingly merge over the next few years

Cloud computing and mobile apps will become more intertwined with each other over the next few years, according to Forrester Research.

The analyst firm said that mobile apps that don't call out through the internet to back-end services will diminish in value.

Infrastructure and operations analysts James Staten said in a blog post that these back end services will not "live" in a data centre unless "you plan to poke a big hole in your firewall to accommodate an unpredictable flood of traffic".

"More often than not, we are finding mobile applications connected to cloud-based back-end services (increasingly to commercial mobile-back-ends-as-a-service) that can elastically respond to mobile client engagements and shield your data centre from this traffic," he added.

Nearly every Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application has a mobile client now, "which is proof of the model as well," he said.

Staten also predicted that organisations' infrastructure and operations teams will become more comfortable with development teams building apps in the cloud. He said it would be easier for them to “engage developers and be part of the conversation about how to do it safely, securely, and with appropriate oversight."

He added that this would give operations teams the ability to set guardrails through a formal cloud policy that shows what type of development is acceptable and engage in a dialogue about "what may not be such a good idea".

Cloud will no longer be thought of as a commoditised product. Indeed, while cloud services are highly standardised and automated, at present, standardisation does not equate to becoming a commodity, according to Staten.

"We’re already seeing cloud services backed by high-end hardware, offering GPUs, SSDs, and other clearly non-commodity infrastructure options," he said.

He added that 2013 would see the see the proliferation of these types of choices as cloud providers leverage them to meet specific market demands and to differentiate competitively.

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