In my view, the cloud computing marketplace will change rapidly in the coming year. The most significant changes will be:
- Enterprise decision makers will no longer debate whether cloud services are reliable or secure enough to handle their corporate needs and will aggressively pursue strategic cloud initiatives that will transform the way they operate to better compete in an increasingly challenging business environment.
- IT and in-house software development teams will attempt to work more closely together to help corporate business units select the right cloud service providers to satisfy their functional requirements.
- ISVs and other technology vendors that don’t offer a combination of public and private cloud solutions to respond to the varying needs of their corporate customers will be at a competitive disadvantage and quickly lose a significant share of the market.
- Although horizontal cloud solutions will continue to experience significant growth, vertical market solutions aimed at specific industries will grow even more rapidly.
- ISVs and other technology vendors that don’t establish partner-friendly channel programs specifically designed to address the unique dynamics associated with cloud services will fail to extend their reach in the marketplace.
- Best-of-breed cloud providers that don’t offer clearly differentiated solutions that are strongly aligned with key SaaS, PaaS and IaaS market players won’t survive.
- Successful cloud solution providers will design their services to be delivered via mobile platforms, offer social networking capabilities and include analytics that provide key performance indicators (KPIs) and other industry benchmark statistics to their customers that help them maximize the value of their solutions.
- Although business intelligence (BI) will be embedded into a widening array of business applications, a major cloud BI player will emerge from today’s highly fragmented market.
- Systems integrators and other professional services firms will continue to experience rapid growth in response to escalating demand for specialized skills to plan, design, develop, select, implement, integrate and manage cloud solutions.
- Cloud solution provider consolidation will accelerate through a growing number of acquisitions, mergers and asset sales. And IPOs of cloud solutions providers will also broaden to include SaaS, PaaS and IaaS providers with both horizontal and vertical market orientations.
Jeff Kaplan is the managing director of THINKstrategies, founder of the cloud Computing Showplace and host of the cloud Innovators Summit conference series. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.