What’s in the Clouds for 2011?

by Lilia Shirman on December 18, 2010

in Cloud Computing,Mobile,Strategy and Planning,Technology industry

Looking into the future of cloud computingI’ve spent a lot of time this year with clients including VMWare, Grid Dynamics, SymbioWare and others who are thinking about (and betting on) the future of cloud computing.    To figure out what’s real and what’s hype, we’ve also talked to dozens of VPs of Engineering and IT about their priorities and plans.

Here are a few predictions for the challenges and opportunities that will be floating around in the cloud in 2011.

  1. Enterprises are going to continue to combine traditional IT with private and public clouds – picking the best and most appropriate of these models for each application or business process.
  2. The different stacks will still need to interoperate, so IT organizations will be looking for tools that were designed to operate and manage these hybrid environments.
  3. These mixed environments will spawn a new generation of applications that are deployable anywhere.
  4. Though cloud is a hot topic among IT execs, ultimately it’s a means to an end – and that end will decidedly be flexibility in 2011, marking a change from the laser beam focus on cost reduction of past years.
  5. Security is the #1 reason companies don’t do more in the cloud. 2011 should be a big year for vendors who can address their concerns.
  6. Greater cloud adoption will place more strain on the network, and network infrastructure vendors will be scrambling to support the growing demand for speed and bandwidth.
  7. With so many productivity and business tools now available in the cloud, small and medium businesses (SMBs) are able to draw on much more sophisticated and powerful IT resources.  But making sense of the options and how they all work together will be a big challenge. That makes for a big opportunity to help SMBs assemble the right SaaS portfolios.
  8. SaaS for mobile will take off in 2011, likely outpacing new SaaS offerings for desktops.  Lots of factors conspire here: HTML5 adoption, IaaS providers catering to mobile – witness Amazon’s recent release of Software Development Kits (SDKs) for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS),  and the fact that computing power and storage space are more scarce on mobile devices than the desktop.
  9. As usual with a hot IT trend, there will be plenty of companies throwing “cloud” into their marketing spiels long before they have made any substantive changes to their product offerings.  Buyers will have to spend some extra due diligence cycles weeding out the pretenders.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike Weinberg December 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Just discovered you today — on someone’s twitter list. Absolutely love your style, approach, brand and content. Looking forward to following and learning from you. On my way to dig into the 42 rules. I’m a newbie to the “cloud” world, but am working with folks in that space. All the more reason I’m glad to find you!


2 admin January 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thanks for the kinds words, Mike!
Would love to know your reaction to 42 Rules – email me, review it on Amazon or post your own rule (or all of the above!).


3 Christophe Primault January 15, 2011 at 3:28 am

Nice article!
Prediction #7 is the one we are working on: application discovery of cloud-based business apps. The number of new applications will explode and it will become difficult for businesses to identify those with the functionality that is appropriate for their particular needs. GetApp.com has developed the first path to an app discovery engine where you can select apps according to your business, IT or industry needs but also based on your company size or where you are based. Another important aspect is integration: being able to know how an app integrates with your existing apps environment is key.


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