Everybody's head was in the cloud, or so it seemed in 2010. Both well established and startup vendors developed solutions and strategies designed to extend their reach or provide entry into this booming market. After all, IDC estimated the cloud market will be worth $55 billion by 2014; Gartner predicted the cloud world could be valued at $148 billion at that time, in part because Gartner included Google AdWords advertising revenue in its figures, said Gregor Petri, adviser, lean IT and cloud co
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In June, Salesforce.com, in some ways the most successfully monetized cloud vendor, offered a new service, Chatter, on its Force.com cloud application-building platform. With 160,000 applications available through the platform, customers now could add a social networking and collaborative service. They could use the secure Force.com platform to link members of ad hoc groups together -- say marketing with the field Salesforce -- in ways that previously had been difficult or impossible. With Chatter, users could push out information on particular customers to a group of trusted associates or share results of a business process. Associates could share email or application data related to a pending contract. Salesforce's Marc Benioff dubbed it the "Facebook for business," and said Salesforce.com had built it with a Google Toolkit on Google App Engine.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
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