2012 Prediction: Bluelock
Everyone Selling “Cloud” Services
In 2012, everyone including my grandmother will be selling “cloud” services. The good news is that everyone will feel compelled to have a cloud offering because the customer community is starting to show significant interest and actual buying behavior for cloud services. The barrier to entry into the market is perceived as buying some commodity hardware and connecting it to the Internet. The bad news is that this large influx of new pseudo providers will create a tremendous amount of confusion, similar to the Internet service provider explosion in the mid-90s, on who you should be signing with for your business.
What It Means for the Space and for Consumers/End Users
The good news is that there will be a lot of competition which makes vendors work harder to earn your business. The challenge for consumers is that they will need to do more homework (i.e. analyst reports from Gartner, references from other customers, and understanding not all clouds are equal so they can find a best fit for their use case). For the traditional reseller, they need to make a strategy call on whether they are going to go from box shippers to box rackers or if they would be better served by simply marking up and reselling someone else’s cloud offering, like so many Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS partners are doing. It also makes sense to pay attention to whether or not this is a company’s core focus or if they simply stood something up in a closet.
Amazon’s recently reported revenue growth (in terms of people actually spending real money on public cloud). The sales of Vblocks and similar cloud infrastructure to non-service providers like your classic box-shipping systems integrators to enable them to become cloud. Also, the number of companies and the newly published Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant (it was big enough to earn its own report this year) help support this trend to watch.