I was reading a post titled: 3 game-changers in the cloud: Get ready — or else. The three items mentioned were reduction in IT overhead creates a price advantage, better use of business data, and expansion through new IT agility.

Which all seemed to make sense for those who have not started down the cloud path, but it was not what I was expected from a post with that title. I thought it was going to be about game changers within the cloud space itself.

Here is what I think will be the cloud game changers (although we may not see them in 2012)?

1) Standards – As we move into a truly interchangeable environment for the IaaS and PaaS space, cloud standards adoption will be very disruptive for those cloud players who don’t have efficient economies of scale. There are many efforts underway ranging from NIST to SNIA and the IEEE among others.
The fallout will be like the automotive market in the United States in the 20s and 30s, going from hundreds of “car manufacturers” down to a much smaller group.

2) Low power processors – Solutions like HP’s Moonshot will have a significant impact on cloud market hardware purchases as more providers start to include an energy surcharge. Business and IT leaders and procurement specialists must expect to see energy costs isolated and included as a variable element in future cloud service contracts. This measure will be used to help differentiate pricing as IaaS becomes more commoditized.

3) Software development tools – Most of the software that has been written to date are incapable of truly taking advantage of the parallel nature of cloud computing. This year will see many new software tools and languages (here is another 2012 languages link) that can shift the view of what’s possible to perform in a cloud environment. The industry buzzes with big data techniques but we have only seen some relatively simple implementations. The possibilities here are vast.

There is likely to be a great deal of fallout within companies as they shift to using mobile devices as the primary enterprise interface and take advantage of the greater variability techniques available — but that is a whole other post.