I never make predictions, preferring instead to develop likely scenarios. But this year I think I'll go for it. And in 12 months, we'll know just how wrong I've been!
My Predictions for 2013
1. People are going to learn how hard it is to run and operate cloud technologies
This prediction has two, independent, components within in. First, there are a lot of companies who will discover how hard it is to run fundamental cloud tech like PaaS at public cloud scale. It's no joke, and I'm guessing there are going to be a bunch of folks who are going to end the year with serious egg on their face. Secondly, there are also going to be a fair number of companies that are going to fail hard in private cloud as folks learn the challenges of operating in the semi-custom and often dated technology environments and highly political realities of the enterprise, not to mention the 99.99% realities of business critical systems. While the private cloud fails are likely to be less public in nature, they are going to be perhaps more damaging (for both the companies involved and the entire private cloud industry). The public cloud fails, meanwhile, will generate the usual hand-wringing and finger-pointing. This shaming is unlikely to fix the problems (as scaling cloud tech is, actually, hard). It is, however, likely to result in a new-found appreciation for AWS, and a fair amount of "perhaps we've been too hard on AWS in the past."
2. AWS will finally acknowledge issues with EBS
At this point the cat is out of the bag and the complaining has gone from behind closed doors, to within private groups and is now all over the internet. There are huge problems with EBS - and with the way many AWS services are architected with EBS as a single point of failure. At this point, AWS will have to accept that their is a problem and announce a planned solution. The alternative is to see a massive slow-down in adoption of all value-add AWS services that rely upon EBS.
3. Adoption of public cloud tech outside the US explodes
With the coming datacenters in various regions of the world (and in particular in Asia), the new frontier for customer adoption is likely to lie outside the US. This has profound implications for the industry as a whole.
4. Private cloud adoption will increase / stay flat
Let me explain what I mean.... Gartner etc reports will likely show dramatic increases in private cloud adoption in the Enterprise. And this is true. But this adoption is likely to be limited largely to Proofs of Concept and explorations rather than full, Enterprise-wide, adoption. As a result, while the percentage of large companies adopting core private cloud tech will increase significantly, the dollars will trail (but probably only by one year).
5. There will be a major security incident
This one is obvious, but it's going to be a bad one. I'm hoping for s simple hack of an IaaS provider or the like, rather than the discovery of a massive extra-national criminal syndicate leveraging cloud tech for their activities -- but only time will tell.
So now I guess I just cross my fingers and hope I'm right.