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Microsoft Azure Will Cannibalize a Global Account -Appirio

Google and Microsoft Double Down on Cloud in the Enterprise; Traditional Vendors Play Catch-Up Through M&A Activity

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Appirio, a cloud solution provider, highlighted 10 predictions for how cloud computing will impact enterprises in 2010.

Appirio predicts that innovation from cloud ecosystem next year will remove many of the remaining barriers to enterprise adoption of cloud. Industry analysts Gartner and IDC concur, placing cloud computing at or near the top of their own 2010 predictions.

"Customer success is the true measure of the cloud's effectiveness," said Ryan Nichols, head of cloudsourcing and cloud strategy for Appirio. "In 2009 we saw innovative enterprises such as Japan Post, Avon, and Starbucks demonstrate the business case for cloud computing. In 2010, that success will go mainstream."

 

Appirio's 2010 predictions include:

1. Cloud developer community grows faster than open-source. Today's vendor-specific developer communities will be complemented by a community dedicated to the general discipline of building applications on the cloud, disrupting existing on-premise developer communities. The combination will launch a new generation of 'cloud developers.'

2. Cloud standards won't (and shouldn't) happen. The pace of innovation is so rapid in the cloud that the emergence of truly open cloud standards won't yet be possible, except at the lowest levels of infrastructure. Traditional vendors will attempt to muddy the waters across layers and claim the 'standards high ground' with efforts like the Open Cloud Manifesto.

3. Cloud providers tackle lock-in. Platform lock-in remains one of the major concerns keeping CIOs from building applications on PaaS. In 2010 we expect to see major initiatives from cloud providers to overcome this objection, either revolutionary (e.g., Force.com supporting other languages) or evolutionary (e.g., application migration frameworks or platform 'porting' toolkits).

4. Cloud integration will get an enterprise poster-child. Boomi and Cast Iron have had a fantastic 2009 and we expect one will land a major enterprise customer in 2010 that replaces on-premise integration technology with a cloud-based alternative.

5. Enterprise apps get Googled. Google's investments in its cloud platform will transform Google Apps from a simple Exchange/Sharepoint replacement into a legitimate front end for enterprise applications (e.g., Google Web Toolkit, Secure Data Connector, and the Google Gadget Framework).

6. Enterprise collaboration is a feature, not a business. Salesforce Chatter and Google Wave have shown the value of real-time collaboration that is seamlessly integrated with business applications. Standalone enterprise collaboration offerings will have difficulty competing.

7. Microsoft lets Azure cannibalize a global account. Microsoft has shown that it's serious about Azure at this year's Professional Developers Conference. We predict that Azure will cannibalize Microsoft's on-premise footprint at a global account.

8. Cloud computing consolidation. With 2000+ providers, the cloud ecosystem is ripe for consolidation. Salesforce.com and Google are likely to continue with point acquisitions, but they won't be alone. Having missed the first wave of innovation in cloud computing (and lacking any other on-premise technology to acquire) we expect Oracle to buy into the industry that Larry Ellison has dismissed as 'water vapor.' Maybe they'll finally snap up NetSuite.

9. Global Systems Integrators will do nothing more than cloud marketing. The most innovative thing we expect from Accenture next year is a replacement for its Tiger Woods ad campaign.

10. The real innovation will be in the business of cloud computing, not the technology. Cloud providers will become dramatically easier to do business with (e.g., Amazon Spot Markets) and new business models will emerge to make the cloud more consumable (e.g., cloud insurance providers, cloud security auditors, cloud brokerages).

These predictions are based on what Appirio is seeing first hand from cloud practitioners around the globe, with a team of nearly 200 and over 2,500 customers moving more of their business to the cloud every day.

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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