2011 Prediction: CloudShare
In the World of Cloud Computing, the Application Will Be King
With over half of cloud services already spending on business applications, including collaboration platforms such as SharePoint, applications – and not reductions in capital and operational expenses– will be the great drivers of cloud adoption.
As more enterprises consider the business value of moving IT operations to the cloud, scalability, utility-based pricing, expertise, and service orientation are just a few considerations that make the cloud highly attractive.
The question then becomes, where to start? The obvious is new applications that beg to be transitioned to the cloud, particularly those that are hugely resource-intensive for short and unpredictable intervals, and require massive scalability, including video processing, financial computations and large content sites. These have been, among the first, applications that have been migrated and tuned, out of necessity, to cloud services. Equally compelling is when enterprises hit the end-of-lifecycle points that require a refresh of complex legacy production applications. These applications also will likely be retooled and implemented in the cloud. Finally, the cloud is ideal for applications that start at the departmental level - driven from a business need - without IT involvement.
Take SharePoint for example. Many SharePoint installs start without central IT knowledge or approval, by a local admin who “just” needs a document management solution. Provisioning the same server in the cloud lowers the barrier to entry even further. Because of the leap in terms of capabilities in SharePoint 2010, in the second quarter of 2011, a majority of organizations will either start migrating to SharePoint 2010 or install it for the first time. For any SharePoint deployment that is not out-of-the-box, the cloud is ideal.
For pre-production activities, projects and people - systems integrators, engineers, IT staff, business line managers, and customers - are often distributed. As most of the SharePoint implementations are outsourced, the cloud is a great way to collaborate, without complex VPNs and travel. Complex environments need to be instantiated quickly (as in the case of customer demos or training), archived, and pulled up again at moment’s notice for the next project.
This is what 2011 will be about. The cloud will become the platform of choice for system integrators working on complex deployments for larger enterprises – where copies of environments can be instantiated in seconds, just by sending an email. Already, an estimated $6 billion ecosystem has evolved just around integration, using the cloud as the “sandbox” for development, testing, QA, and demos.
Business top line is always stronger than bottom line. Users are more important than IT managers. The cloud is not different. This is why applications and application development would drive cloud adoption in 2011.