Protect yourself from the coming cloud crack-up

Here’s how it will play out in many organizations: As the years wear on, line-of-business managers and CMOs will increasingly look outside the organization to find cloud solutions to business problems, either because IT can’t move quickly enough or because self-service Web apps make cloud services so easy to adopt.

Most of that spending will be on so-called systems of engagement, where applications built and hosted in the cloud become the front line of interaction with customers. Public-facing, cloud-based Web and mobile apps will gather gobs of information about customers — and when the quantity of data grows large enough, it will become fodder for big data analytics on the same cloud platform.