From databases to mobile management, cloud service startups want to tackle classic enterprise problems. Check out these interesting options -- including a service to keep an eye on shadow IT.
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The cloud computing startup race shows no real sign of slowing. It seems that few weeks go by without news of a world-changing cloud or cloud service startup, and yet the world seems to roll along as before. In some cases, vendors are still trying to "cloudwash" older products and services by slapping a cloud or Something-as-a-Service label on them.
With all the news and noise, how do you know which cloud service startups are worth watching? You can start with these 7 companies.
It's important to note that "startup" can have a different meaning in the cloud world than it does in the land of bricks and mortar. Some of the companies listed here have been in existence for three or more years but have only begun to make their presence known in a big way in the last 18 months or so. Some have been around but have made a major shift that has increased their presence in the industry, and some are genuinely quite recently launched companies. Just as there are differences in the length of time the companies have been in existence, there are a wide variety of different services represented on our list.
Making a list like this is becoming a greater challenge -- not because the technologies and products aren't good, but because so many companies now include cloud architecture or service-oriented technology as a key piece of their offering. It's likely that lists of cloud computing companies will soon go the way of lists including companies that use networks in their products. It's hard to justify making a separate list when everyone's doing it. We're not quite there, however.
In looking at the companies that stood out, we found one that focuses on databases, two that concentrate on making it easier for customers to pay you, one that provides a bridge to mobile devices, one that is bringing education to new areas, and two that help you manage all the clouds that make up the modern enterprise. It's a diverse group of companies and services, but each one seems a likely candidate to be a much bigger presence in the cloud in coming years.
Still, it's likely we missed something in looking around the cloudy landscape. Which companies are you looking at? Which services do you think we should pay more attention to? Let us know -- we look forward to hearing about your candidates in the comments, below.
Curtis Franklin Jr. has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He contributes to a number of technology-industry publications including
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