There’s no question that 2014 has started out like a lion. Weather patterns have thrown many states in the US into a circular pattern of bracing for snow and ice, cleaning up, and then bracing for the next round. Weather forecasters are taking full advantage of the weather, giving the storms names and producing "white death" graphics to go along with their sensationalist reporting. Whether or not you blame global warming (some call it climate change), or whether you find it ironic that climate change scientists are stuck in the Antarctic ice, there’s a Cloud connection here.

Related: Ways to Keep Tabs on the Microsoft Cloud in 2014

Weather Continues to Disrupt Cloud Access

Along with the massive dumps of ice and snow and sub-zero temperatures, many are left without electricity, while many more have seen just their Internet provider go offline. Weather continues to be the largest antecedent for Cloud disruption. The weather of 2013 caused many to be left without Cloud access and if predictions hold true, it’s only going to get worse. No matter how much redundancy is built into the system, the weather is that one unpredictable component that cannot be resolved.

The Cloud has been a growing novelty for many businesses for a few years and a decidedly concrete path forward for the majority of vendors. Each and every vendor has added some sort of Cloud tinge to their products and services. Some vendors’ offerings are minor, meant to better support legacy services and show innovation, while others, like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, are "all in."

2014 All About the Private Cloud

Yet, despite the enormous amount of effort being sorted to provide Cloud functions in everything, when we circle back to the one thing that cannot be fixed by technology, the weather, there’s no true solution except to be prepared. That’s why 2014 will be all about the Private Cloud, and those businesses that venture too deep into the Public Cloud will be sorely disappointed. And, really, it makes perfect sense to relate Cloud to weather patterns, or the one piece that can’t be accounted for.

The Cloud, today, makes sense in several areas. It’s a given that email, backups (redundancy), and test labs (VMs) make sense. But, pushing anything truly important and business critical solely to the Cloud is a fool’s folly. For sure, vendors will use things like privacy, security, redundancy, performance, elasticity, cost savings, automation, SLAs, and other things to sell Cloud solutions to business, but they can never shield companies from the inevitable, or the unpredictable.

So, what’s your plan for the Cloud in 2014? If your company is "all in," how have you compensated for loss of business productivity due to the inevitable and unpredictable?

Related: Cloud Services Trends in 2013 and Beyond