5+ Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011
1. Streamers Make a Stand
The war between online streaming companies like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and the internet service providers like Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner is going to heat up next year. The reality is that these services eat up a lot of bandwidth on the last mile of the shared infrastructures pushing the ISPs into fighting net neutrality. The prediction is that 2011 will bring the push back from the providers of content and will be backed by content companies that start to make money on these services. Look out ISPs here come the big boys.
2. A New Social Service Emerges
Once there was MySpace, now we have Facebook and most believe that it will never be replaced but the writing is on the wall for a powerful newcomer. Part of what makes a social service successful is the cool factor and while most everyone in the world is on Facebook, a new cooler service will pop up and make a play in 2011. It might come from the big boys like Google and Apple or might be an extension of other social services like Twitter and Foursquare. The winner will use integration, open standards and the cool factor to capture a 15% marketshare in 2011 slowing down Facebook's growth. The only thing guaranteed is change.
3 Open Clouds Bloom
The open source movement has made huge inroads on the ground and gets a big lift in 2011. Rackspace started the movement with OpenStack and Google gave Wave over to Apache. Next year these projects will flourish but will be joined by Fortune 500 companies backing some big open source movements that expand on the principals of Cloud Computing. More open source cloud computing applications will emerge and the line between free and paid open source will be smudged.
4. Private Clouds Die Publically
Can we just stick a fork in this terminology already? I say 2011 is the year Private Clouds get put back into the enterprise server rooms and get the name changed back to "Virtualization Strategy." The reason it happens next year is the argument for private clouds gets pummeled by public cloud computing success stories while private clouds burn budget and time. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...
5. Death of The Disk
From the Apple App Store for OSX to entire operating systems that run in the cloud, the idea of buying software on disks and installing it from a CD goes into a rapid decline. Shrink wrapped software will turn into gift cards found at every 7 Eleven and Walmart. The majority of computers will ship with software keys not disks and a cloud install model will get picked up by Microsoft and Adobe. Other physical media like DVDs, CDs and Bluerays will continue to decline and by the end of 2011 more and more companies will be offering to host all your media content for access from anywhere.
Long Shot: Apple Buys Salesforce.com
The headline will read, "Apple buys a huge enterprise cloud computing company to add to its corporate sales strategy". It will be a drop in the bucket for Apple but give it a huge play in terms of sales teams who are all ready on the ground around the world and in the enterprise. Technically Apple will use the Salesforce.com patents for database and virtualization and apply it towards its own growing cloud services like iTunes and MobileMe. Apple will also use the Chatter technology as something to extend the life of Ping and give it social relevance once again.
Look forward to riding out the 2011 and taking a look back a year from now. Tweet your predictions and comments to me @JasonMAtwood