Well its definitely cloud.
IDC say it will be $42 billion by 2012 trumpeting the race to the cloud. Now before I start this rant lets be clear
- I think cloud computing is important
- I think it is different
- I have quite a bit of experience in the area
The kicker in the IDC article is the wonderful paragraph
To succeed, cloud services providers need to address a mixture of traditional and cloud concerns. According to survey respondents, the two most important things a cloud services provider can offer are competitive pricing and performance level assurances. These are followed by the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the customer's industry and the ability to move cloud services back on-premises if necessary.So to succeed you need to be cheap but with a strong SLA, understand my industry and give me a back-out route.
As caveats go these are pretty big ones. The first is of course what every client says "be cheap" and clearly cloud isn't a premium service and so has to be cheaper than your current data centre approach. The second is again a no-brainer if you want your biz critical apps on the cloud, but this is quite tough especially if you are getting into secondary liability, i.e. the cloud provider is liable not just for the cost of the service when it goes down but also the cost to your business.
"Know my business" stacks up, especially for the SaaS providers and the last one basically says that the current Azure and Google App Engine model aren't what people are looking for.
In the last month the number of vendors who HAVEN'T tried to tell me about their SaaS/PaaS/IaaS/Cloud offer has to number a lot less than those who have. So I officially declare 2009 to be the year of cloud hype and make a bold prediction.
Most of the crap about cloud will turn out to be wrong and over optimistic. The focus on business reality and business cost will drive IT through 2009 and the use of cloud will primarily be driven by a desire to move towards a more OpEx model for IT.