Businesses found religion in the cloud in 2013. And their appetite for cloud related technologies — from public apps to private cloud to platform — will only grow in the years ahead. In fact, online shopping cartmarket-watchers at IDC predict that spending on the cloud from 2013-2017 will increase at five times the pace of overall tech spending.

Yet, cloud adoption will no longer be driven on blind faith in the promise of lower information technology (IT) costs. Businesses will move to the cloud for different reasons than in the past. And buyers will both look different and be more informed consumers.

Increasingly, businesses will look beyond just total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits and IT efficiencies and leverage the cloud as a platform for innovation and business agility. Buyers will be more calculated in their cloud purchase decisions, demanding greater flexibility and choice in their cloud portfolio. They’ll also look to harness the power of disruptive cloud-delivered services, such as social and business networks to unlock new value for their business.

So what can we expect from the cloud in 2014? A few predictions:

Not everything will move to the cloud

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