I have been asked by the National Outsourcing Association to speak at an event next month. At the event I will be talking about what trends I am seeing in the outsourcing sector.
I sat down the other day to put some thoughts together and after a few minutes it really hit me just how big this year has been for cloud computing in the IT outsourcing sector.
A year ago everybody was talking about the cloud. But there was not much context to what they were saying. Everybody had a cloud strategy or was devising one.
But this year when I think about the case study type articles I write and the conversations I have with businesses and IT suppliers I can see things have really moved on.
Recent examples include Everything Everywhere setting itself, and its supplier T-Systems, the target of having 40% of its internal systems in the cloud within three years. Read my interview with the CIO here.
Then there are companies such as International Personal Finance, which has embarked on a 12-month project to move its IT infrastructure into a private cloud which will cut costs by millions of pounds and make its planned expansion easier. Read my case study here.
This year could see clouds used by businesses get a whole lot thicker. More cumulonimbus than cirrus as companies put more and more IT into clouds.
From recent discussions with CIOs, IT directors and the like, it does appear that businesses are now ready to move deeper into the cloud.
At a recent meeting with a big supplier I was given the prediction that 60% of the average enterprise will have 60% of its applications in the cloud.
Last month I sat down with the global IT head at one of the UK's biggest banks. This was a meeting in advance of a raft of announcements set to come from the bank.
The bank is about to begin a process of wrapping a private cloud around all of its systems, both internal and those that face customers.
It was described to me as creating a cloud that customers and workers just point a device at to get to what they want. Obviously this is a big bank with lots of in-house IT expertise. But it will not be doing it itself but rather using an ecosystem of suppliers.
This brings me on to the new role of the IT outsourcing service provider. Forget systems integration it is now cloud integration.