What’s Next for the Cloud in 2013?

By Ken Stephens, senior vice president, Xerox Cloud Services

The Society for Information Management (SIM) recently released findings from its annual CIO survey that indicate CIOs around the world plan to commit more of their budgets on IT outsourcing in 2013 to boost productivity and reduce costs. Not surprisingly, cloud computing was cited as a top application in 2012 and I expect that to be the case next year as well.

When I speak with CIOs and IT managers many are still surprised that Xerox has been a player in the business cloud for years. But as the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management, we’ve always contended that the cloud is an integral piece of simplifying the way work gets done – offering on-demand technology that’s scalable, affordable and can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

So as the calendar turns let’s look at key cloud trends and opportunities in 2013:

  • Cloud jobs are booming, but how do companies attract the right talent to capitalize on the opportunities? Because the cloud is still an emerging force, it’s not always necessary that a candidate have cloud experience. But it is critical that employees are able to deliver client solutions in weeks, not months, and are adept at turning a service into a sellable product. At Xerox our focus is on growing our bench of cloud service experts organically rather than through recruitment.
  • The next frontier for cloud services is deeper penetration into specific industries, specifically hyper-competitive markets such as retail and hospitality. We’ve seen the benefits of cloud solutions in large enterprises and increasingly in SMB environments. But there’s also great opportunity for industry-specific solutions such as help desk or telecom expense management services for retail, where profit margins can be razor thin.
  • Data analytics driven by cloud services. As businesses increasingly operate in more locations nationally and globally, cloud services allow them to make sense of all the customer and operational information at their disposal. Xerox is adept at leveraging big data, and bringing that data analytics power to clients in a cloud services-based package is a major growth opportunity for the industry.

What other cloud developments do you see in 2013?


Ken knows “the cloud” is everywhere these days, but is focused on making cloud services simple to understand and implement for IT professionals.  

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  1. Dinesh Srirangpatna November 16, 2012 - Reply

    Hi Ken,

    It is possible that companies with good SOA architecture start to experiment or integrate best in breed cloud providers rather than retain monolithic providers. The solutions can be either horizontal or vertical. In an extreme form, they will only perform core functions and move to cloud for all the other solutions.

  2. Ken Stephens November 19, 2012 - Reply

    Depends on the company of course but the answer is potentially yes. The Cloud enables integration across company boundaries like never before so if a company has a solid SOA then they can integrate with their respective cloud providers. That extra level of integration provides potential to leverage the data in more powerful ways. Thus, the Big Data phenomenon which is still in its infancy. There are companies that have established themselves as Cloud Brokers by doing this very thing.

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