While the cloud is a relatively new development in IT, what is being called Cloud 2.0 is already upon us.

Evolution of cloud computing continues to pick up speed with multi-cloud infrastructures seizing market momentum among enterprise IT leaders, says research firm IDC.

“In 2018, IDC predicts that more than 60% of enterprise IT organizations will have committed to multi-cloud architectures, driving up the rate and pace of change in IT organizations,” IDC reported at a recent conference.

William Lee of IDC discussed cloud 2.0 and the opportunities as well as challenges it presents.

“In the cloud 2.0 era, cloud service buyers will be increasingly drawn from the ranks of business managers rather than from IT managers,” Lee said.

“The impact of this on the enterprise will be broad: decisions will be based on business requirements rather than technology platforms and much of the funding will be from the business units. For the LOB manager seeking business innovation, cloud 2.0 will bring a range of new, industry-focused services and partners from which to choose.”

Driving the changes are IT digital transformation as enterprises react to rising expectations by users.

“Enterprise IT is expected to offer services and capabilities that span business functions and roles, and demand a variability in IT resources which is very different to that of legacy, dedicated IT,” IDC notes.

In Asian markets particularly, IDC forecasts that “70% of …enterprises will have a multi-cloud strategy by 2018, and the need for efficient management of the new multi-cloud environment will mean that 65% of those with a multi-cloud strategy will seek management solutions from external providers to meet the complexities of managing cloud 2.0 environments.”

To deal with changes and rising expectations, “IT leaders must have an appropriate enterprise infrastructure strategy and architecture in place, which has: cloud; SDN and storage; integrated infrastructure; and security as the core elements. It is the right combination of these elements which will determine the ability of IT leaders to drive transformation for a mobile intensive, data driven, competitive business environment,” IDC says.