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12/31/2009
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Fredric Paul
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7 Cloud Computing Predictions For 2010

Seven Predictions on what SMBs can expect from the world of cloud computing in the coming year -- from Appirio.

Seven Predictions on what SMBs can expect from the world of cloud computing in the coming year -- from Appirio.Cloud solution provider Appirio offers 7 predictions on how cloud computing will affect companies in 2010, all under the assumption that this is the year the cloud goes mainstream.

1. Cloud developer community grows faster than open-source. Today's vendor-specific developer communities will be complemented by a community dedicated to the general discipline of building applications on the cloud, disrupting existing on-premise developer communities. The combination will launch a new generation of 'cloud developers.'

2. Cloud standards won't (and shouldn't) happen. The pace of innovation is so rapid in the cloud that the emergence of truly open cloud standards won't yet be possible, except at the lowest levels of infrastructure. Traditional vendors will attempt to muddy the waters across layers and claim the 'standards high ground' with efforts like the Open Cloud Manifesto.

3. Cloud providers tackle lock-in. Platform lock-in remains one of the major concerns keeping CIOs from building applications on PaaS. In 2010 we expect to see major initiatives from cloud providers to overcome this objection, either revolutionary (e.g., Force.com supporting other languages) or evolutionary (e.g., application migration frameworks or platform 'porting' toolkits.)

4. Enterprise apps get Googled. Google's investments in its cloud platform will transform Google Apps from a simple Exchange/Sharepoint replacement into a legitimate front end for business applications (e.g., Google Web Toolkit, Secure Data Connector, and the Google Gadget Framework.)

5. Collaboration is a feature, not a business. Salesforce Chatter and Google Wave have shown the value of real-time collaboration that is seamlessly integrated with business applications. Standalone collaboration offerings will have difficulty competing.

6. Cloud computing consolidation. With 2000+ providers, the cloud ecosystem is ripe for consolidation. Salesforce.com and Google are likely to continue with point acquisitions, but they won't be alone. Having missed the first wave of innovation in cloud computing (and lacking any other on-premise technology to acquire) we expect Oracle to buy into the industry that Larry Ellison has dismissed as 'water vapor.' Maybe they'll finally snap up NetSuite.

7. The real innovation will be in the business of cloud computing, not the technology. Cloud providers will become dramatically easier to do business with (e.g., Amazon Spot Markets) and new business models will emerge to make the cloud more consumable (e.g., cloud insurance providers, cloud security auditors, cloud brokerages.)

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