2014 will be an inflection point as cloud, mobile, social media, and big data converge. Read predictions from Greylock Partners and its portfolio companies Skyhigh Networks, Okta, and Cloudera as they envision the cloud in 2014.
The Cloud in 2014 - Predictions from Greylock Partners
Predictions from Greylock Partners
and its Portfolio Companies
1. Cloud and mobile security risks will
frustrate CIOs in 2014
As enterprises continue their march towards mobile
cloud computing, data security will become a top CIO
issue in 2014. Many organizations will attempt to solve
these problems with poorly suited tools, such as legacy
security appliances with bolt-on cloud and mobile
updates. Many of those same organizations will
suffer through major penetrations and data
breaches as a result. !
Organizations everywhere are migrating their front-ends
to mobile (smart phones, tablets, laptops), and their
back-ends to cloud infrastructures. As these trends
accelerate, organizations will continue to lose control
over data. Conﬁdential data, intellectual property, and
customer information will all be more exposed to risk.
These types of data were previously classiﬁed and
tracked, but are rapidly becoming unmanageable. IT is
losing control. Because of that, data security will be a
headline-grabbing topic throughout 2014, but those
headlines will be negative more often than not."
2. IT stops blocking cloud services for
no good reason
Founder and CEO
There will be big change in 2014 on how IT copes with cloud
risks. The status quo is based on outdated arguments and
limited visibility. Today, IT generally blocks what it knows
(Facebook, YouTube, ESPN.com). Many of these sites are
blocked in order to prioritize productivity (and often to
conserve bandwidth). And what IT does not know today
generally gets through, which is often risky."
This approach is pointless at best, since it’s so easy to ﬁnd
workarounds, and counterproductive at worst, since IT often
blocks services that will boost productivity. According to our
2013 Cloud Adoption & Risk Report, which compiled data
from more than 3 million users across more than 100
companies in various industries, IT still blocks what it
knows, not necessarily what puts organizations at risk.!
In 2014, IT will get the visibility needed to feel comfortable
loosening the reigns, helping employees evaluate and
understand the risk of these services, rather than simply
blocking them. "
3. Incumbents go on cloud buying sprees
to reclaim lost market share
Those who doubt that cloud computing is the future are
on the lunatic fringe, yet there are plenty of lunatics out
there. The cloud continues its march throughout
enterprises in nearly every industry -- a reality that
incumbents can no longer ignore or deny. Microsoft
continues to push Ofﬁce 365, even if that strategy risks
eroding Ofﬁce revenues, and even long-time cloud
skeptic Larry Ellison is on board, with the cloud
featured prominently at Oracle OpenWorld 2013.
Industry incumbents such as Oracle and SAP will
accelerate acquisitions of innovative cloud
software companies to buy their way into the
future. In 2014, IT decision makers must be more
vigilant than ever about choosing vendors that have
long-term viability — or risk getting locked into an
incumbent’s stack all over again. "
Co-Founder and COO
4. Enterprise cloud apps will become
mainstream, sparking the rise of niche apps
In 2014, expect to see increased cloud adoption
in nearly every industry. Combined with the
economics of the cloud model that make it
cheaper to develop and spread applications on a
massive scale, this trend will ultimately result in
an exponential increase in the number of
enterprise cloud applications and services. "
What’s more, 2014 will be the year that niche,
industry-speciﬁc cloud applications and
services will take off. These applications simply
weren’t economical in the past, but 2013 proved
that’s no longer true. Veeva Systems experienced
one of the most successful IPOs of 2013, with a
reported $4.4 billion valuation. 2014 will be the
year that successful (and proﬁtable) niche cloud
companies become the norm. "
Co-Founder and COO
5. IaaS and PaaS are the ﬁnal two nails
in the coﬃn of the traditional ﬁrewall
The traditional ﬁrewall isn’t dead, and probably won’t be for a
while, but it’s on life support. In 2014, IT will more actively
phase out legacy perimeter security tools. Two new cloud
technologies, IaaS and PaaS, will be the ﬁnal nails in the
traditional ﬁrewall’s cofﬁn. "
IaaS and PaaS are both mainly being used by small startups,
while large enterprises have only tested them for new
projects and front-end applications without a signiﬁcant data
footprint. In 2014 we will see the beginning of heavy
backend data systems/applications moving into the
cloud. This will be a signiﬁcant shift, showing that enterprises
are now comfortable enough to have their core (their blood)
move outside the walls of their corporation. Not all industries
will do that, e.g. ﬁnance and health will probably not make the
switch in 2014, but other industries will in 2014, such as
retail, telecommunications, CPG, and automotive. "
However, as companies make this shift, they will need to
rethink their security in order to protect data rather than
6. Revenge of the CIO - CIO’s will
transition from CI-No’s to tech enablers
Founder and CEO
As IT departments become more strategic, the CIO’s
role will change drastically too. CIOs are tired of being
“CI-No’s.” It’s not a fun job. Fortunately, they no longer
have to ﬁll that role. As IT pros evolve into internal tech
consultants who identify, evaluate, and oversee
technologies (and not necessarily the ones who have
to develop, deliver, or operate these technologies),
CIOs will be tasked with ﬁguring out how new
technologies deliver competitive advantages."
CIOs will look at cloud, mobile, social media, and
whatever other new technology comes along to
discern how these cloud services will beneﬁt the
business, operationally and strategically. This
means the background of CIOs will change as well.
Organizations will value pure IT backgrounds less and
less, instead prioritizing business and operational
6. CIOs who aren’t comfortable with cloud,
mobile, and social will be on the hot seat
By the end of 2014, CIOs who don’t understand the
strategic importance of social, mobile, analytics and
cloud will be considered old school and less relevant
to the organization. CIOs who “just say no” and
fail to adapt will face criticism from everyone
from board members who can’t live without
access to corporate data on their personal
tablets to developers who demand access to
services like AWS.!
Moreover, in 2014 CMOs will continue to infringe
on areas of responsibility that used to belong
solely to the CIO. Those CIOs who continue to
block cloud services that deliver business value will
place their organizations at a competitive
disadvantage, and once the rest of the C-suite
wakes up to that fact, it will be the CMO, not the CIO,
driving the future of technology within those slow-toadapt organizations. "
Founder and CEO
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