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Forrester: Cloud is not the future of IT

Long live mainframes?

Cloud computing is not the future of IT and commoditisation is, says analyst house Forrester, although the two support each other.

Forrester says that as a result of commoditisation and modernisation, IT portfolios will evolve over time so that many applications will become suitable for cloud deployment, but many will not.

James Staten, an analyst at Forrester, says in a report: "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can't take advantage of cloud economics. For this reason we'll likely still have mainframes 20 years from now."

The "Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready" report, which is part of Forrester's "Playbook on Cloud Computing", urges CIOs to "leverage cloud services today and reap the early education from doing so" to gain competitive advantage in the future.

The Playbook on Cloud Computing is a framework for adopting the cloud, going into detail on the benefits and disadvantages of public and private clouds, cloud economics, and addresses "cloud washing" - the efforts by a number of vendors in branding their "business-as-usual IT services" and virtualisation products as "cloud" offerings.

The Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready report says: "Long term, enterprises will have a hybrid portfolio of cloud and non-cloud workload deployments that uses these options to optimise resource and agility requirements."

It adds: "In this future state the majority of system workloads will be cloud-resident while your own systems of record will evolve to cloud at a slower but deliberate pace. The end result will be a mixed environment managed through a decision tree and a series of workload automation systems that ensure governance and regulatory compliance across this portfolio."

The report also warns that those companies that have chosen a private cloud architecture as their main cloud strategy will not realise the savings that can be made through public cloud services or through an architecture that combines both public and private cloud IT capabilities - usually known as a hybrid cloud architecture.


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