Top Cloud Computing Stories of 2015

Cloud adoption continued to grow at an accelerated pace for most of 2015. However, this growth was tempered by concerns about cloud security, especially in the healthcare sector which experienced massive security breaches. While Forrester predicts that the global cloud computing market will grow 22% annually to $241 billion in 2020, many cloud providers are feeling competitive pressures. Join us as we take a look at the top five cloud computing stories of 2015.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise exits the public cloud market

A pre-split Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) devoted much of 2015 to fending off rumors that it was going to walk away from the public cloud market. An April, 2015, article in the New York Times published quotes from Bill Hilf, HPE’s senior vice president of cloud product management, that implied the hardware giant was ceding the public cloud business to heavy-hitters such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

“We thought people would rent or buy computing from us,” said Bill Hilf, the head of HP’s cloud business. “It turns out that it makes no sense for us to go head-to-head.”

A week following the NYT article, Hilf posted a blog that emphasized HPE’s commitment to the public cloud, stating that the company’s “portfolio strategy to deliver on the vision of Hybrid IT continues strong.”

With Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google and IBM estimated to control more than half the worldwide cloud infrastructure service market, it came as no surprise when HPE released a statement six months later, confirming its closure of its public cloud service by January 31, 2016.

Financial Conduct Authority declares cloud “acceptable” for financial services firms to use

The financial services industry has been one of the last verticals to embrace the cloud. That may change in 2016, based on an advisory note issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in November, 2015, stating that used correctly, cloud technologies are “acceptable” for use by financial services firms.

“We see no fundamental reason why cloud services (Including public cloud services) cannot be implemented with appropriate consideration in manner that complies with our rules.” — Proposed guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third-party IT services, Financial Conduct Authority

While the FCA’s guidance may serve as a positive first step, many financial services firms remain wary of the cloud, citing security concerns.

Healthcare organizations became the target of choice for cyber criminals

In February, 2015, Anthem, the second largest health insurer, announced that the personal information of approximately 80 million customers and employees, including its chief executive, as the subject of a “very sophisticated external cyberattack.” The information accesses including names, Social Security numbers, birthdays, physical and email addresses and employment information, including income data. In other words, a goldmine of information for hackers to leverage.

While the Anthem cyberattack is the largest breach of a healthcare company to date, many more followed. Healthcare data has become the “It Girl” for cyber criminals. Notoriously slow for upgrading IT systems and adopting new technologies, the healthcare industry is also ill-equipped to handle the “data tsunami” caused by an influx of new patients to the healthcare system. Cybercriminals have been able to mine these data archives, leveraging protected health information (PCI) to file fraudulent medical claims, purchase illegal prescriptions and even take out loans.

According to the Ponemon Institute, data breaches cost the healthcare industry $6 billion annually. It estimates that the impact of a data breach per organization is $2,134,800. While healthcare organizations are scrambling to put new security measures in place, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has already announced its next wave of audits – promising steeper fines for organizations with security lapses.

Hybrid cloud is two to five years away from mainstream adoption, Gartner predicts

Hybrid cloud computing is still in its early stages, with global research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. predicting that it is still “two to five years” away from mainstream adoption. While analysts and suppliers continue to talk about hybrid clouds, Gartner’s Hype Cycle provided a reality check – declaring that just 10 – 15% of enterprises are currently using them. HOSTING is currently leading the way in helping enterprises gain business benefits from balancing on-premise IT, private cloud and public cloud services.

Third-party managed cloud services are rapidly gaining acceptance

In mid-2015, Structure Research issued a Hot Topic Report, Managing Third Party Clouds, which stated, “One of the most recent developments in the hosting and cloud infrastructure space is the emergence of managed services offerings for massive-scale cloud infrastructure.” AWS and Azure offer an abundance of cheap, raw infrastructure and a plethora of cloud development tools – perfect for companies that want to take a DIY approach to building and managing their environments. However, those that expect a high level of service are turning to managed cloud service providers such as HOSTING to supply the essential security, compliance and support resources they need to effectively run their cloud environments.

The third-party managed cloud model continues to gain acceptance, with more cloud providers and services providers putting it into their product roadmaps. Structure Research also notes, “There were just a handful of providers dabbling in this (managed third party clouds) just a few years ago, but thing have changed significantly. Other U.S.-based notables in this market include the likes of HOSTING.”

Wondering where the cloud is heading in 2016? Contact the HOSTING cloud experts anytime to answer your questions, and help you develop a future-focused plan for achieving success in the cloud.


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