December 18, 2008 06:00 ET
Top 10 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2009
Appirio Predicts Strong Growth for Cloud Computing, Along With Azure Disappointment, a SaaS 1.0 Failure and the Rise of More Cloud Connections
SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - December 18, 2008) - As the year draws to a close, many companies
are left wondering what next year will bring for this year's hottest
technology trend -- cloud computing. To answer these questions, Appirio
(www.appirio.com) today released its top 10 predictions for how cloud
computing will evolve in 2009 and the impact those trends will have on IT
and business. Appirio is a leading on-demand product and professional
services company, and one of the fastest growing companies in the cloud
Appirio's predictions reveal that in spite of our current economy, cloud
computing will continue to see strong growth and investment over the next
year -- a prediction that industry analysts agree with as well. As more and more companies like
Flextronics, Genentech and Harrah's publicly discuss
their experience with cloud computing, it will pave the way for even more
adoption over the coming year.
"This year cloud computing made the leap from an interesting proposition to
a viable option for even the largest of enterprises. In 2009 it becomes
mandatory," said Appirio co-founder, Narinder Singh. "Today's economic
climate will force enterprises to pick technology winners and losers for
their environment in order to cut costs, be more efficient and deliver
business-relevant innovation. Cloud computing makes this seemingly
impossible task a possibility -- much more so than with traditional
software. This is why we believe cloud computing will be counter cyclical,
with SaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS) investment accelerating, and
traditional software spending declining."
Appirio's 2009 predictions include:
1. The "cloud of clouds" expands but sees traction revolve around open
platforms. We'll see Microsoft and other traditional software players
invest even more in new but closed cloud platforms. At the same time,
proponents of a more open approach, like Amazon, Facebook, Google and
Salesforce, will push more and deeper "cloud connections" like they did
this year. This will create a more heated debate between the value of
closed versus federated platforms.
2. At best, Microsoft Azure will be a better platform for Exchange.
Microsoft will continue to shower attention on Azure but will see
relatively limited adoption from ISVs and customers. While it will likely
disappoint users and remain well behind established cloud players for the
first few years, it will become a viable platform by 2010 -- primarily as a
better foundation for Microsoft Exchange and existing on-premise .NET
3. Google doubles down on the enterprise; enterprises return the favor by
racing to Google Apps. Google has already shown they're serious about
winning over enterprises with acquisitions like Postini and investments in
Google Apps. They'll continue to expand their support for enterprise-class
security, transparency, and development languages. In return enterprise
customers, faced with economics that overcome preconceptions, will
substantially increase their pace of adoption. We expect to see at least 3X
the number of enterprises evaluating and moving to Google Apps, at the
direct expense of Microsoft Exchange, Office and Lotus Notes (the Asbestos
4. A major SaaS 1.0 company will fail. Although SaaS and cloud
investments will increase next year, a number of SaaS 1.0 companies --
stand-alone companies who built their SaaS products from scratch on their
own -- will either falter due to the demands of creating infrastructure, or
chose to re-platform. The progress of enterprise-ready platforms like
Force.com makes it much easier for SaaS 2.0 companies to build advanced
products that can leap ahead of the competition at a much lower cost.
5. A rise in serverless companies with 1000+ employees. In 2009, the
market will start to hear about more and more companies going completely
server-less. While this is already happening at smaller companies, larger
and larger companies will optimize their business processes and cut IT
expenses by outsourcing to cloud providers
6. The rise and fall of the private cloud. While private clouds will
continue to generate a significant amount of hype, customers in most cases
will realize they are little more than a better data center implementation.
They will be valuable for customers who have significant transaction
volumes and stringent regulatory or security requirements, but will have
little ROI for the average IT organization. In the end, private clouds will
create more value for service providers than for customers.
7. Business Intelligence (BI) becomes the next functional area to
SaaSify. Just as CRM and HRM applications became poster children for the
shift to SaaS these last few years, we'll see the same thing happening with
on-demand BI. We'll also see a bifurcation in this space, with one set of
applications built from the ground up to leverage the inherent benefits of
cloud computing and one set a repackaging of traditional BI features just
delivered over the Internet.
8. SAP or Oracle gets into the PaaS game. While these companies may have
hedged their bets in 2008 (or even berated the SaaS model), we believe one
of these companies will see the writing on the wall and start at least
talking about a new cloud platform they're building over the next few
years. In fact, they will attempt to switch the conversation and convince
the market they have been working on this for years but called it something
9. Enterprises will figure out how to use social networks in the right
way. Companies -- especially their HR and marketing organizations -- will
finally figure out how to utilize social networks in day-to-day operations.
More and more business (employees, leads, market intelligence) will come
directly through business applications that tap into Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn and other social networks that are already being used by employees
and customers outside the workplace.
10. There will be at least one $100M software product built on Force.com.
The myth that it is impossible to build a big business on an on-demand
platform will finally be debunked by the emergence of a PaaS-enabled
application in 2009 that has the potential for a $100M run rate.
These predictions are loosely based on what Appirio is hearing and seeing
first hand from industry insiders around the globe -- from a base of over
2,000 customers, partnerships with leaders in this space, and conversations
with industry influencers.
For more details on these predictions and how they can impact IT and
business, please check out Appirio's CIO blog at www.appirio.com/blog. To
rank these predictions, provide comment or add your own, please visit
Appirio (www.appirio.com) provides products and services that help
enterprises accelerate their adoption of on-demand. Appirio has a proven
track record of delivering business value to customers by implementing
mission-critical Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions based on platforms
such as Salesforce and Google Apps, and developing innovative applications
that connect and extend today's leading on-demand platforms. Appirio was
founded in 2006, is the fastest growing partner of salesforce.com and
Google, and is backed by Sequoia Capital.