What a difference a year makes. In September 2009, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison denounced in passionate tones the "absurdity" and "idiocy" of cloud, backed by "nitwit" venture capitalists, in a talk at the Churchill Club in San Jose, Calif. In an opening keynote at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco on Sept. 19, he made a 180-degree turn to acknowledge Oracle wished to be a cloud vendor too. His definition of cloud computing was suspect, and his candidacy to join the cloud looked like a warmed-over Real Application Cluster -- an old Oracle technology now dubbed the Exalogic Elastic Cloud -- but Ellison and Oracle had become supporters of cloud computing, reflecting the shift toward acceptance in its own customer base.
"The scale of application deployments is growing; multi-thousand-seat deals are increasingly common. IT managers are thinking strategically about cloud service deployments; more-progressive enterprises are thinking through what their IT operations will look like in a world of increasing cloud service leverage. This was highly unusual a year ago," said Ben Pring, research VP at Gartner. Software as a Service (SaaS) represented 70% of 2010 revenue, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) accounting for the remaining 30%, according to Analysys Mason. By 2015, the split will shift to 60% SaaS and 40% IaaS, the researcher estimated. Solution providers, resellers, and other agents will account for 39% of end-customer generated revenue by 2015, Analysys Mason said. Application and IT vendors will make up 36%; cable TV operators, as well as fixed and mobile telecommunications operators, are expected to generate 23%, and managed service providers will round up the remaining 2%, the research firm said. "We expect that this will be a significant opportunity for existing IT services players to evolve their current offerings -- such as outsourcing, system integration, development, etc. -- to become cloud-enabled and try to combine the best of the two worlds, namely traditional IT services and cloud computing," said Gartner's Pring. Large and small enterprises are adopting cloud, further spurring growth of the technology, experts said.