The 2011 Cloud Market in Review
A year ago, I published a series of 10 predictions regarding how the Cloud Computing marketplace would evolve in 2011 in E-Commerce Times. Here’s a recap and assessment of my predictions:
The Cloud Computing market will grow more rapidly than analyst firms forecast as organizations move from asking “what is Cloud and why is it important” to “where and how can I capitalize on the Cloud today.”
I think I did ok on this one, although there remain plenty of organizations who are still trying to define the Cloud and determine why they should seriously consider employing it.
This accelerated growth will occur despite a major cloud computing service disruptions and/or significant security infractions, which will heighten customer concerns but won’t discourage wider adoption.
This certainly was the case as we watched Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) crash, jeopardizing numerous start-ups and other companies dependent on its Cloud … Read More »
SAP Finally Buys SuccessFactors – Is It Too Late?
For years, a variety of industry analysts and bloggers have suggested that SAP jumpstart its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and broader Cloud initiatives with a major acquisition, such as SuccessFactors. Today’s news that SAP will buy SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion shows that the company’s executives have finally admitted that they can no longer rely on internal development and organic sales efforts to gain a meaningful share of the rapidly growing SaaS/Cloud marketplace.
I can’t say that I’ve been among those advocating this type of bold move because I’ve been a part of a similar acquisition which failed to achieve its strategic objective, and I’m not convinced that SAP will be able to transform its business through this transaction.
Back in 1999, I worked for a fast-growing network professional services company, called International Network Services (INS), which was acquired by Lucent Technologies for $3.7 billion, or 12x revenues! Lucent’s goal … Read More »
RightNow Takes Aim at SaaS Contracting Practices
There are many myths that are propagated by legacy software vendors to discredit the insurgent Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud computing movements. But, the SaaS industry has also harbored its own myths for many years as well.
For instance, many SaaS vendors aren’t truly ‘on-demand’. You can’t acquire and utilize their web-based applications instantaneously because they lack the automated provisioning capabilities. And, in many cases they don’t want you to use their online applications ‘by the drink’ because it undercuts the predictable revenue stream which is essential to the SaaS model.
The second and related myth is that most SaaS solutions are not ‘pay-as-you-go’. Instead, you are often asked to pay for a one-year agreement up front before you can utilize the SaaS app.
Despite these limitations, SaaS solutions have flourished because they are still far more flexible and more cost-effective than their legacy … Read More »
Key Competitive Battlefields in the Clouds in 2010
As the new year and decade get underway, here are a few of the areas of the cloud computing market which I think will be important competitive battlefields for established and emerging players:
Collaboration Wars: Collaboration is the ‘killer app’ in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) segment of the cloud computing market. The rapid adoption of Google Apps has demonstrated the latent demand for these web-based solutions. Now, IBM is promoting the enterprise-class qualities of its LotusLive offering to win a share of the market. Cisco Systems is also intensifying its efforts to promote its collaboration solutions built around WebEx and Telepresence. I also think Microsoft will accept a greater level of cannibalization of its Office products to win a bigger share of the collaboration market with OfficeLive.
Business-Oriented Social Networks: These are closely linked to collaboration and have gained a tremendous amount of attention because of the explosive growth … Read More »