Given all the talk of the cloud, one would think that every organization in the world has already successfully solidified and deployed a cloud strategy. Up to now, however, the idea of all businesses moving exclusively to the cloud has been just that — an idea. The reality is that most organizations are still coming to grips with what it means to move toward the cloud. They have a general understanding of the benefits, and acknowledge that it’s the future, but may not yet be sure how to get there, smoothly and efficiently.

That’s changing in Canada, where businesses are starting to see true value in cloud services. A recent Telus-IDC report found that 66 percent and 64 percent of Canadian cloud users believe their companies significantly outperform the competition in terms of revenue growth and profitability, respectively. The report also found that companies with a “cloud-first” mindset are 25 percent more likely to view themselves as being more innovative or progressive than their peers.

The misunderstanding

Many organizations are still on the fence, a position driven by a misunderstanding of how to effectively implement public and private clouds. But there are open source solutions that help alleviate those concerns, and it is from them that we will see cloud adoption begin to truly explode in 2014 and beyond.

"Smartphones, e-readers, car dashboard systems, home automation solutions, and more — many of these would not be possible without open source software."

Innovation

The open source development community, has, historically, been the proving ground for much of the technology that we have come to accept as part of our everyday lives, so it’s no surprise that it is where much of the innovation for cloud is taking place. Smartphones, e-readers, car dashboard systems, home automation solutions, and more — many of these would not be possible without open source software. Open source pushed these solutions into the mainstream, and will do the same for enterprise cloud computing.

That’s because open source software, by its very nature, is designed to make it easy for companies to get to the cloud. It works with virtually any IT environment, regardless of existing hardware. It is cost-effective — the software code itself is free — and highly innovative, with some of the world’s most creative and skilled developers continually iterating on it so that it may provide enterprises with a unique toolset that makes it easy and cost-effective to move to the cloud.

In fact, increasing numbers of companies are looking at open source as the default choice for their cloud infrastructure. This is vastly different from a few years ago, when the old client-server model was pervasive. They appreciate the flexibility and power that open source brings. Many of them are turning toward companies that are able to offer them enterprise-class open source software, combined with world-leading customer support. It’s a combination that provides them with a great sense of comfort, because they know that they are partnering with an organization that can guide them toward the cloud in a way that will help propel them forward.

Forward: that’s the operative word for enterprise cloud in 2014, for both Canada and the world. The market will take significant steps forward this year — a year that I truly believe will be a definitive one for technology and enterprise cloud adoption.