Editor’s Note: Borrowing author Spencer Johnson’s phrase, several software companies moved the cheese in 2011 and changed the game for everyone else in this coming year of 2012. We asked industry observers and experts to share their opinions on what moves from 2011 will have the most impact in 2012.
But first we asked for their opinions on which software companies deserve an award for something outstanding they did in 2011.
And the winners are –
“The award should go to VMware and to Red Hat for the work on Cloud Foundry and Openshift. The award would be for solid technology combined with a good partner ecosystem.” – Paul Ressler, Principal, the Cirrostratus Group
“I would present an award and recognition to the roughly one dozen-plus early-stage SaaS/cloud providers whose services remained up throughout the AWS April 2011 outage. These companies proved that there is nothing inherently more dangerous or risky about SaaS/cloud deployment than on premise. Effective design and deployment of SaaS applications can predictably deliver resiliency, security and dramatic cost savings for IT organizations.” – Russell Hertzberg, VP of SaaS/ISV Solutions and Certified ScrumMaster, SoftServe
“Android, without a doubt. They came from obscurity to market dominance in two years. And given their extension into very low cost handsets, Android will be ubiquitous – the Microsoft Windows of the mobile world (but don’t tell Ballmer that … might make him scream … again). Once established on smartphones and tablets, there may be a final push for netbooks and laptops. Microsoft will be nibbled to death by a billion Android ducks.” – Guy Smith, Chief Consultant, Silicon Strategies Marketing
“Salesforce.com for its Social Enterprise evangelism; SuccessFactors for creating a Business Execution software category; and Amazon Web Services for demonstrating the viability of enterprise-class Infrastructure as a Service.” – Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director, THINKstrategies, Inc.
“Amazon for the Kindle Fire. They parlayed their core business in books and challenged the iPad with one product.” – Shirish Netke, Executive Vice President, Business Analytics Solutions at Saama Technologies
SandHill.com: What software event during 2011 do you predict will have the most impact in the software world over the next two to three years, and what will be the impact?
“The LinkedIn IPO has created massive new investor interest in SaaS and social media. LinkedIn is misperceived as a pure social media company. In fact, LinkedIn uses social media as a platform for creating and selling various enterprise, SME, and business user services. The huge increase in investor interest has created large new pools of funding for technology innovation and technology companies….which is very good news for the IT business ecosystem.” – Russell Hertzberg, VP of SaaS/ISV Solutions and Certified ScrumMaster, SoftServe
“I think the most important development in 2011 could be Salesforce.com’s Data Residency Option (DRO) feature, which I discussed in a SandHill article.” – Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director, THINKstrategies, Inc.
“The release and continued development of the Openshift PaaS platform from Red Hat and the Cloud Foundry offer from VMWare have both brought an open source approach to PaaS and have provided a way to use a PaaS and develop for multiple deployment platforms. Continued investments and development will occur in these ecosystems and will drive a renewed interest in PaaS by both enterprises and ISVs. Within the next two to three years these PaaS platforms will be in use in a variety of software development organizations and new service providers will emerge to provide these services.” – Paul Ressler, Principal, the Cirrostratus Group
“The rapid standardization of cloud and big data infrastructure. The winners (both open source and proprietary) have been crowned and the risk uncertainty of adopting the wrong technology has been reduced. We’ll see many and more successful roll-outs.” – Guy Smith, Chief Consultant, Silicon Strategies Marketing
“Application Marketplaces. Organizations have struggled with shadow spending for a long time, where users and business units go around corporate IT to purchase solutions on their own, often without IT involvement. With the ease with which SaaS solutions can be purchased, the advent of mobile devices, and constrained central IT budgets, business units find a way to “get the job done” outside of formal IT control, ballooning shadow spending to more than 20 percent of total IT spend. This can cost organizations more in the long term compared to optimized strategic procurement practices. To regain control, savvy organizations are turning to application marketplaces, which can be deployed to centralize and standardize the purchase, delivery and governance of SaaS, cloud, mobile and traditional applications.” – Tom Pisello, Chairman and Founder of Alinean, Inc.
“The proliferation of tablet devices led by the iPad. This can fundamentally change the way people consume and utilize data. Beyond the form factor, this device puts new demands on IT to provide solutions that have not been optimized for a new set of use cases. This empowers the consumer to directly influence the information services they need. This will impact every aspect of the technology ecosystem including app developers, infrastructure providers and service providers.“ – Shirish Netke, Executive Vice President, Business Analytics Solutions at Saama Technologies
“On Oct 13, 2011, US Congressman Joseph Walsh (R-IL) announced his successful introduction of an amendment to eliminate wasteful software license spend in the house version of the Department of Homeland Security authorization bill. Representative Walsh acknowledged in his press release that ‘as much as 35% of software spending could be eliminated through better software assessment management … . Like many large corporations, the federal government overbuys software and purchases duplicative software licenses ultimately wasting taxpayer money. ’
A significant amount of money can be saved when organizations look closely at their software licensing positions, their actual application usage, and commit to optimizing their software asset management processes on a continual basis. The federal government is beginning to recognize that software license optimization is a critical part of the solution to help our country free itself from the crushing grip of our current budgetary crisis.” – Jeanne Morain, Director Strategic Alliances, Flexera Software