December 2010

following Monday’s insight from the analyst community on the trends and expectations for the year ahead (check out the full post here), we thought we’d have a bash ourselves at predicting the future. so here are our suggestions for the year ahead – let us know whether you agree with us, or think we’re miles off the mark…

(also – to anyone reading this in December, you have *not* got an eye condition; those floating white dots across the screen are snow. it’s festive.)

…and we’re putting together a mobile special in case you think it’s a bit thin on mobility right now – watch this space in Jan for the 2011 mobile outlook according to Edelman Tech…

Predictions for 2011:

Larry picks a fight…with God

Larry Ellison will never be accused of being the shy retiring type. In fact one of the well known legends is that he bases a lot of his modus operandi around ‘The Art of War’ and over the years he has picked a fight with pretty much everyone in the industry. Bill Gates, Ray Lane, Craig Conway, Tom Siebel and more recently SAP and HP. Frankly there isn’t anyone really left to fight so the speculation surely must be that the only person worthy of a challenge is God. Given the old joke – "What’s the difference between God and Larry Ellison?…God doesn’t think he’s Larry" – this may not be the case.

Facebook emerges as a powerful content player

Just a stab in the dark, but I’d hazard that before 2011 is out we’ll see Facebook commissioning its own content – or co-creating content at least. The ‘Like’ function is powerful – whether for selling products or amplifying conversation around content. We know that young audiences are watching more online. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook will start working closely with production companies to push something like KateModern into stratospheric proportions – the first social entertainment blockbuster.

‘Do no evil’ Google becomes ‘Bad Google’

In some respects it seems almost stereotypical that a company that was once the darling of the industry is now beginning to look over its shoulder, as the mutterings begin to increase. Like Intel and Microsoft before then they have incurred the wrath of the regulators and how the company reacts next year will be interesting to watch.

Hopefully it will have learnt from the mistakes of others, but there’s the danger its senior leadership team has drunk a little too much of the ‘Kool Aid’.’There is no doubt that the ‘noughties’ belonged to Google and today it remains one of the key drivers of the IT industry, but it needs to sustain that growth to justify its market cap. As a result its moved into a number of different areas with mixed results…Google Wave (#fail), Android (#successtodate), GoogleTV (#waitandsee). Similarly it has had the high profile embarrassment around China, which has severely dented its reputation and competitors like Facebook, Youtube and even Microsoft are beginning to make in-roads on its heartland. 2011 may be a sticky year for Google.

We will all be buying coffee via our mobiles by the end of next year

Whether paying for stuff with your mobile, buying online credits, or using Square we’ll be seeing a lot more money changing hands, without touching hands. Much of the rest of the world already is – Africa and Asia are well ahead of Europe and US in this field, (indeed Gartner predict that 60% of this market in 2011 will be in Asia). But there is some key technology coming that will make phones that much smarter and make it that much easier for us all to get involved. Google has confirmed the next version of Android will support NFC (near field communication) chips, and it’s rumoured that iPhone 5 will have this functionality in-built. Nokia and RIM are both also expected to follow-suit.

Creative Agency "ownership" of social media

This year the classic PR v marketing battle was augmented by the arrival of "customer services" onto the scene. The range of customer and support services using social media to support their communications and contacts has led to them claiming ownership (and budget). A valid claim (like all the rest).

Next year customer relationship management (CRM) will join the fray under the moniker "social" CRM, linking customer databases with social media to define whether, when, how often, on what medium companies communicate with their customers.

I see loads of privacy and "ownership" issues but for any company who gets this right it could be huge.

There are however always pitfalls, and twitter is flooded with examples of companies ‘doing’ social media very well and responding to customers and issues, but the actual customer service department in the clients’ back office not following up. To avoid this becoming a fad or people losing faith in social media platforms as a channel, companies need to place the same focus on the back office customer services departments as they do in keeping pace with an external zeitgeist.

Gamification of Life

There’s a lot of chat about the ‘gaming of everyday life’. Truth is ‘social games’ like Farmville  actually aren’t very social (people tell their friends there are playing, but are they playing with friends and telling others? I think not). FourSquare is often touted as the best example of the gamification of life but personally, I don’t think it is a very good game.

To its credit I think it’s a very promising form of direct marketing and I’m sure we’ll see more coupons next year. More interesting – if more niche – social games are playthings like Chromoroma. These sorts of initiatives will continue to garner interest from the press and trend watchers. Whether or not they will engage enough people to become ‘mainstream’ is perhaps unlikely.  But in a game of influencing the influencers – this sort of creative approach will be a top scorer.

Murdoch will just give up with his paywall.

Personally I think it’s all a little too little too late – the industry has sat back and watched itself be destroyed – news on the internet will be, and will always be, free. If you can’t get what you want from The Times you’ll go somewhere else to find it. The quality argument, for me personally, doesn’t stack up, people generally will accept a lower quality if it costs them nothing.

Mobile and application based news might be a short-term saviour, and there will be winners and losers in this area next year. It’s perhaps true that people are prepared to pay for innovation and the novel – but even then, the future of the mobile experience looks set to be a browser/cloud based model. Mobile applications will go the same way as desktop applications at some point in the not too distant future (let’s say 2013 for arguments sake).

News will become hyper-local & hyper-social. A location based service will join forces with a news site for location centric news – what’s happening where you are right now….. bringing you nearer to……

……‘Where’s that ambulance going?’

I don’t think 2010 has quite been the year of location, as many though it might be. Less than 4% of mobile users are using this feature. It’s growing though and expect next year – with the rise in popularity of Foursquare and Facebook places (sorry Gowalla you missed the boat) – for the term “where am I now” to be more popular than ever.

Combine this with the fact that media is looking to innovate, to tap into the power of social, than I can see a very logical next step to be a combination of owned and user generated news to be pushed to users based on location.

What is happening in the world you’re in right now. Whether this is in combination with one of the aforementioned services or a plug-in to a site like the BBC, Digg or the Guardian, I think we’ll start to see this as a powerful service. Indirectly, this may then only serve to fuel citizen journalism, as people are alerted more easily to incidents / events happening close to them.

Someone will figure out how to give everything, no matter how small, an IP address

Long shot this one, and is based on boozy conversations with colleagues on the outerweb and the internet of things, that this could be the next big breakthrough – giving everything a link to the internet.

This could be as simple as me seeing a sofa or salt shaker and “liking” it in real time or adding instantly to an Amazon wish list via a connection to my smartphone. It will happen, perhaps not next year, but it’s always good to have an outlandish prediction – and hell most food products do now have a link to the web via barcodes.

Videogames will shift from products to entertainment services

By the end of 2011, most blockbusters games will turn into an subscription-based service instead of releasing a new iteration each year (i.e.: the Call of Duty franchise). We’ve already seen this happening with the Steam platform offering games as uploads, and annoying retail outlets in the process, but the next year could see this become even more prominent. Gamers are currently predominantly ‘owned’ by their console (although multi-console owners are increasingly more common), but game manufacturers could see a niche in the market for tying them into series through exclusive uploads, game advances and new episodes. Given the dedication the most successful games generate, this would seem a seamless next step.

Cloudy outlook;  another year of unfulfilled promise, the return of hardware storage, and Everything-As-A-Service?

Seriously, can someone just make the cloud revolution finally happen? It’s been on everyone’s lips for years – YEARS – but is 2011 the year the cloud actually becomes the tech saviour it’s lined up as? Granted, there are already plenty of services claiming ‘cloud’ services, but on closer inspection many of these are simply network servers – can we finally envisage a true cloud? If we are to do so, the main obstacle is going to be keeping such services reliable and absolutely, unrelentingly secure – it’s the security issue which has held adoption up in many instances.

And if the security issue does remain unconquerable, we could perhaps see the return of hardware storage with servers and SSDs, as the perceived risks around cloud computing create too many anxieties to warrant full adoption.

If the cloud DOES finally break loose, expect ‘EaaS’ – Everything-as-a-Service – a growing offers with more collaborative tools and more complete applications to be proposed; everything becomes “on demand” with the cloud.

Social media will finally arrive in the enterprise

We’ve already witnessed the growing adoption of social media in the enterprise – for both internal and external usage – and we can expect to see more of the same as IT decision makers start to impact the business strategy discussions.

Once the C Suite understand the role social media plays in business, and how it can (positively) impact business efficiency, we’ll see this boom. Social media is currently viewed as a distraction to staff, but once this misapprehension is dealt with, and its proper adoption, integration and monitoring is understood, enterprises will rush to get involved.

The key issue which needs tackling in 2011 is to dispel the perception of social media adoption being simply an ‘allow or deny’ decision. It is simply not that black and white, and different employees require differing access and controls. The workforce coming into industry now is that which has grown up with the likes of Facebook, and they’ll expect the same in business – and if they don’t get it, they’ll find a way around security to use it none the less. “Allow or deny” is no longer a valid debate.

and the consumerisation of IT won’t be restricted to social media…


We can’t get enough of having a familiar device in our pocket, even in the workplace – we’re moving into the age of ‘bring your own’- your own technology, that is – into work. With more Millennials/Generation Y/the L’Oréal generation, whatever you want to call them, coming into the workplace, we’ll see a shift in the technology we use and how we use it altogether. Businesses will support the idea – in theory. Employees using a familiar device has the obvious efficiency advantages. However, whether organisations, and infrastructure, will be able to support alien devices is another thing. After all, there’s the usual security, technical, data protection and legal issues that cloud computing has been dealing with for years. It will certainly be a step in the right direction, but we may very well get there at a snail’s pace.

with thanks for the following for contributions:







Every year industry analysts formally put their reputation on the line and make predictions for the next 12 months. This post aims to summarise their views in one place – I recommend you click on the links by each post if you want to read more detail.

And for a bit of fun, why don’t you also compare how they did last year on this post

Firms included are: Irregular Enterprise, Gartner, Ovum, CCS Insight, Nucleus Research, HfS,  Infotrends, Quocirca, IHS Screen Digest, Forrester


Irregular Enterprise

(In my opinion, this list is the most accurate)

  1. 2011 will be like 2010 only more so.
  2. Collaboration will be big. Somewhere.
  3. It will be increasingly cloudy. Especially in Manchester, north west England where they get 300 days of rain a year. Elsewhere, the IT media will be buried in cloudy press releases.
  4. Industry analysts wont revisit their 2010 predictions without massaging what they said before. Almost nobody will notice except those who keep an eye on quantitative analyses and call bull on the numbers.
  5. Industry analysts that got more than 10% of their predictions right will crow over their ability to predict the future. Nobody else will care.
  6. Industry analysts will make bold predictions for 2011 based on their current research agendas. Vendors whose offerings align will sign away millions in wasted ‘research.’
  7. Software will conclusively prove that cows are the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. The ensuing bovine cull will ensure population starvation on a massive scale thus solving our climate change issues. Those flogging carbon solutions will be put out of business.
  8. Someone will insert an RSS enabled RFID device into Mark Zuckerberg’s rectum so that we all get to know what he really thinks about privacy. As a result, Zuck will have to endure a TSA pat down but will opt to be processed in a private area. That won’t prevent any of us from knowing what’s going on while enterprise security experts study the resultant data stream with interest.
  9. Social business consultants will win huge government contracts – to be executed from padded cells over the next 25 years. People like me will be relieved that the madness of social business has been correctly allocated the appropriate resources.
  10. Social media will suffer a backlash (oops – it’s already happened but the social media mavens didn’t notice. This is just to keep them up to speed.)


Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2011 and Beyond

  1. By 2015, a G20 nation’s critical infrastructure will be disrupted and damaged by online sabotage.
  2. By 2015, new revenue generated each year by IT will determine the annual compensation of most new Global 2000 CIOs.
  3. By 2015, information-smart businesses will increase recognized IT spending per head by 60 per cent.
  4. By 2015, tools and automation will eliminate 25 per cent of labor hours associated with IT services.
  5. By 2015, 20 per cent of non-IT Global 500 companies will be cloud service providers.
  6. By 2014, 90 per cent of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices.
  7. By 2013, 80 per cent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets.
  8. By 2015, 10 per cent of your online "friends" will be nonhuman.

The top ten enterprise IT trends for 2011

Security, cloud services and sustainability will be three of the most important trends in enterprise IT in 2011, according to Ovum.

  1. Security – Security continues to be high on the IT agenda as the number of threats to businesses increases rapidly.
  2. Data management – Data management will be a key area due to the sheer volumes now passing through enterprises.
  3. Business analytics – Business analytics will remain an important tool for organisations that want to differentiate themselves from the competition in 2011
  4. Mobility – In IT management, the mobility challenge in 2011 will be to embrace the new technology while developing a strategy that maintains a balance between user preference and productivity and corporate security and compliance.
  5. Data centre transformation – The role of the data centre is witnessing a dramatic shift as the cloud computing era heralds a new dawn in the delivery of IT services in 2011.
  6. Cloud services – Cloud computing will continue to grow steadily in 2011.
  7. Collaboration – To cater for changes in work practices, an integrated approach to collaboration is needed which includes social networking and video conferencing.
  8. Sustainability – New opportunities will continue to emerge in 2011 which allow organisations to work in a more environmentally-friendly way.
  9. IT financial management – The CIO should talk the language of business and put in place better IT financial management in 2011.
  10. Context-aware computing – In 2011, CIOs should be looking to instrumentation, metering and wireless technologies to play a significant role in providing the context which can lead to automated business processes and increased productivity.

CCS Insight Predictions for 2011 and Beyond

(full summary can be downloaded here)


  1. Apple buys TomTom.
  2. Huawei’s Ideos brand will enter the top five manufacturers by 2015.
  3. Nintendo will launch "DS Mobile", a connected portable gaming device, by 2012.
  4. 3D becomes a major theme on mobile devices in 2011 but mobile 3D displays flatter to deceive.
  5. In 2012 Apple unveils the "iScreen", a connected screen for the home.
  6. Tablets will fail to live up to the hype.
  7. Facebook buys Skype and launches a calling service within its mobile applications.
  8. Concern grows over addiction to mobile devices, particularly among the under-25s.
  9. Operators will focus on speed and quality of service rather than number of gigabytes when marketing mobile data.
  10. Operators will pay subsidies based on the data efficiency of a software platform, favouring BlackBerry over iOS and Android.
  11. Chrome OS becomes a "problem child" for Google
  12. MeeGo’s early successes will not come from mobile phones.

Nucleus Research

Nucleus Research Technology Predictions


  1. Oracle and IBM are the last ones standing, going head-to-head after enterprise software partners and/or acquisitions.
  2. Microsoft needs an inspiring visionary or a tactical general. Steve Ballmer should go.
  3. Smaller vendors with specialized expertise that deliver value to customers continue to thrive.
  4. Google needs to actually finish products and not just gravitate to the next big thing.
  5. HP needs to get beyond boardroom scuffles and define itself in the modern software world.
  6. SAP will shrink as companies now have credible alternatives (Oracle, NetSuite, and others).
  7. Politicians are out of touch with the realities of IT. The cloud enables white-collar workers to work anywhere, allowing smart companies to seek locales with low taxes and overhead.
  8. No more social networking nonsense, as organizations move employees away from social sites at work.
  9. The cloud changes everything – still. Companies large and small are taking advantage of the economic and environmental advantages of developing and computing in the cloud.
  10. AT&T provides a valuable lesson on how a lack of customer service and inability to address service issues can cause customers to band together through the Internet with a powerful and collective voice

HfS – Horses for Sources Predictions


  1. The outsourcing industry will see the first Cowboy and Indian mega-merger
  2. BPO uptake will creep back throughout 2011, as the recovery stutters and buyers pull the trigger on sourcing initiatives, however, many of the deals for the first-time buyer will be small in scope
  3. IT Outsourcing will have a banner year as market peaks, however growth will tail-off towards year-end as wage-arbitrage begins to become saturated
  4. Service integration becomes the new fad, replacing innovation as the buzzword of the day
  5. Service providers will start to break out of vertical silos to help their clients collaborate
  6. Integrated offerings from service providers with broad capability gain market share. Distinction between BPO and ITO blurs
  7. Many CIOs will thrive or fail because of Cloud demand from their business function leaders
  8. Successful advisors shift their business models to be "lighter" or more full featured
  9. Onshore and nearshore alternatives hit the mainstream
  10. HfS Research will achieve world-domination

Technology predictions from Zac Butcher


  1. Continued economic uncertainty; the global economy is the major issue for business in 2011, austerity measures in Europe impacting public sector key account business and confidence in general
  2. Cloud printing (or a similar term) to become the next big thing in the printing industry – we’re going to start moving beyond MPS and the hubbub around MPS – companies will begin to realise that the underlying theme is the mobility of the knowledge worker and that business processes, of which the majority still involve paper somewhere along the line, will need to adapt, evolve and maybe be totally reinvented for the next computing age
  3. Greater range of iPad competitor products will slowly begin to erode printed pages further – screen reading at the outset and moving more towards video consumption of content longer term

Technology predictions from Clive Longbottom

  1. The cloud will burst – initial attempts by many companies to adopt cloud will show some of the issues – latency, service levels, lack of predictability will all make organisations wonder if cloud is all it has been built up to be.  There will then be a strong drive for an agreed means of standardising technical contracts on the fly and for monitoring and managing performance across private, and to a lesser extent, public clouds.  This does not bring cloud down – it just slows it down while the reality sets in and expectations are reset.
  2. Consolidation continues. The changing nature of IT continues to stress large and small IT vendors, and acquisitions continue for those with deep pockets, mergers for those in trouble, and failure for some.  Even large companies can fail (see Novell for this year’s big one).  The focus will have to be on agility and flexibility – not massive, semi-monolithic applications.
  3. The IT department struggles. Old-style outsourcing where IT departments found themselves in fear of having their employer change under them, or in possibly losing their job, becomes new-style outsourcing, looking to utilise functions from the cloud.  Jobs will just be lost – the cloud takes over the complete function, and the new IT department has to be able to act as the translator between what the business needs and where those functions are best served from.  This is  not a grease-monkey technical job – it is a business/technical architect job, and many IT people will suffer in the fall out.  However, the cloudburst mentioned above will give some succour – when cloud is seen as a failure, the functions will have to be pulled back in again, and the hyper-techie will have their part to play again.  Unfortunately, this will be short lived, and many organisations will not have the capability to deal with the "boom and bust" movement from in-house data centre to hybrid cloud and back again in a manner that enables the business to survive.
  4. Sustainability is back on the agenda.  Not because big business wants to save the world – but because governments need to raise money.  Green is the new tax – governments will be finding ways to screw as much out of businesses as they possibly can through as many means as possible, and taxing what will be defined as profligate use of energy is a great way of bringing in money.  IT will be a focus again – but the clever IT department will move the focus to how IT can help the overall organisation to better manage its overall energy footprint – not just focusing on how the data centre can cut back on its energy use by 5-10%.
  5. Thin-client computing (by any name) becomes far more mainstream. Any company that does this for cost purposes or for energy saving purposes deserves everything that happens to them.  However, to enable a better control and information security environment, to better support mobile workers and to ensure better overall security across a mixed estate of company and personal access devices, centralising the desktop in a data centre will be seen as making more and more sense.
  6. Consumerisation overtakes the business.  Any business now trying to turn back the tide of employees wanting their own devices to be supported will lose. Devices ranging from the enterprise-focused, such as RIM Blackberries, through avowedly consumer focused iPad and the newer Android/PalmOS/Windows 7 slates, tablets and other form factor systems will no longer be centrally sourced by the organisation, but will be expensed by the employee.  These systems will have to be accepted and managed by IT – even if "managing" them means just providing a sandboxed environment for the corporate desktop to run in.
  7. Social networking continues to confuse, bemuse and amuse. Facebook continues its world domination,  Twitter fades somewhat as people begin to see its limitations.  MySpace probably fades to a greater extent.  FourSquare makes some inroads for a while – but is not a long term bet.  Organisations continue to struggle in figuring out just exactly how to play the social networking field. Employees continue to place inappropriate comments that hit headlines and embarrass businesses, resulting in knee-jerk reactions that end up in court for dealing with employee grievances.
  8. The iPhone 5 gets announced on April 1st. It will have a 24MP camera with a 3MP secondary one.  It will have a 3D screen, which, using the Retina capability and special glasses, will give the appearance of an IMAX experience while you are sat on the underground.  It will make a leap to 6 TB memory – just enough for your average 14 year old to store all their MP3 and JPEG files.  It will not be compatible with Flash – or with the Microsoft Kinect controller. Steve Jobs is also rumoured to be talking to telecoms companies about making sure that the iPhone5 will not be able to interoperate with any device on the same network that runs Microsoft Windows Phone 7.  According to his Fanboys, this is a necessary step to stop the evil dictatorship of Ballmer from placing the world under the shackles of a closed operating system with little support for external capabilities and with little overall usage due to short battery life.  After all, that is Steve’s job.

imageJulien Theys from IHS Screen Digest


  1. Nokia will have to deliver with MeeGo if it doesn’t want to be written off in the smartphone innovation race. Their current strategy will have to translate into financial gains or face a reboot by 2012.
  2. Android will keep growing and outselling iPhone although the comparison will remain irrelevant (and mildly irritating). Android will speed up the democratisation and commoditisation of a significant share of the smartphone market. Some hardware manufacturers relying too much on Android will suffer from this. Poor quality handsets and fragmentation will hurt the Android brand. Unofficial, unsupported and sub-par Android variants will creep up and there is very little that Google will be able to do about it. Tablets will only make it worse.
  3. Out of the two Korean giants, Samsung will have a much better 2011 than LG, mobile-wise.
  4. Growth year for Apple, with emphasis on multi-touch and evolutionary improvements across the board: Apps on Apple TV, CDMA iPhone, iPad 2. 2011 should offer a rather weak competition for iPad. iPod should decline significantly but Apple will keep milking the (mostly unchallenged) cow until its last breath.
  5. I still do not see the brands ‘Playstation’ and ‘Sony Ericsson’ coexist on the upcoming gaming-oriented handset. A new sub-brand would be wiser.
  6. RIM will have a hard time sustaining their growth rate.
  7. Mobile payment should be the hot topic in many countries, with many stakeholders likely to move aggressively. One more area in which Nokia had a head start that might ultimately prove useless.
  8. Big tickets M&A are most likely to involve companies such as Microsoft, Nokia and RIM.
  9. Skype is a prime acquisition candidate.
  10. Google and Apple are likely to stick with their current strategy of incremental smaller-scale IP/talent acquisitions.
  11. Potential let downs: Google TV, Chrome OS and BlackBerry Playbook will all be tough sells.
  12. Certain let downs: augmented reality, location-based gaming.

James Staten gives his cloud predictions


  1. And The Empowered Shall Lead Us. In Forrester’s new book Empowered, we profile a new type of IT leader, and they don’t work for you. They work for the business, not I&O, and are leveraging technologies at the edge of the business to change relationships, improve customer support, design new products, and deliver value in ways you could not have foreseen. And, despite your “better judgment” you need to help them do this. Your frontline employees are the ones who see the change in the market first and are best positioned to guide the business on how to adjust. They can turn — and are turning — to cloud services to make this change happen but don’t always know how to leverage it best. This is where you must engage.
  2. You will build a private cloud, and it will fail. And this is a good thing. Because through this failure you will learn what it really takes to operate a cloud environment. Knowing this, your strategy should be to fail fast and fail quietly. Don’t take on a highly visible or wildly ambitious cloud effort. Start small, learn, iterate, and then expand
  3. Hosted private clouds will outnumber internal clouds 3:1. The top reason empowered employees go to public cloud services is speed. They can gain access to these services in minutes. Private clouds must meet this demand and not once, but consistently. That means standardized procedures executed by automation software, not hero VMware administrators. And most enterprises aren’t ready to pass the baton. But service providers will be ready in 2011. This is your fast path to private cloud, so take it.
  4. Community clouds will arrive, thank to compliance. The biotech field is already heading this direction. Federal government I&O teams are piloting them. And security and compliance will bring them together. Why struggle alone adapting your processes to meet FDA requirements when everyone else in your industry is doing the same? Cmed Technology is onto something here.
  5. Workstation applications will bring HPC to the masses. Autodesk’s Project Cumulus and the ISVs lining up behind GreenButton are showing the way, and they’ll do it because it expands — not threatens — their market. Both these companies have figured out how to put a cloud behind applications and in so doing deliver game-changing productivity: the kind of performance that can potentially match traditional grid computing but with nearly no effort by the customer. These moves leverage cloud economics and may disrupt supercomputing.
  6. Cloud economics gets switched on. Being cheap is good. We all know the basic of cloud economics — pay only for what you use — but the mechanism isn’t the lesson; it’s just the tool. Cloud economics 101 is matching elastic applications to cloud platforms and moving transient apps in and out so their costs are constantly returning to zero. Cloud economics 201 is designing and optimizing applications to take greatest advantage. Cloud economics 301 is knowing when and which cloud to use for maximum profitability. Look to early efforts such as Amazon Web Services’ Spot Instances andEnomaly’s SpotCloud to show the way here and the Cloud Price Calculator to help you normalize costs. As cloud segments such as IaaS commoditize, tools that let you play the market will grow in importance.
  7. The BI gap will widen. If business intelligence to you means a secure data warehouse, you will quickly learn which side of this gap you are on. Cloud technologies such as AWS’ Elastic Map Reduce, 1010Data, and BI unification will deliver real-time intelligence and cross-system insights that help businesses skate to where the puck is going and see — and make — the market shift before their competitors.
  8. Information is power and a new profit center. Not only will cloud computing help leading enterprises gain greater insight from their information, it will help them derive revenue from it too. Services such as Windows Azure DataMarket will help enterprises leverage data sources more easily and become one of those providers themselves. The Associated Press, Dun & Bradstreet, and ESRI are the model. Are you the next great provider? What value data are you keeping locked up in your vault?
  9. Cloud standards still won’t be here — get over it. Despite promising efforts by the DMTF, NIST, and the Cloud Security Alliance, this market will still be too immature for standardization. But that won’t mean a lack of progress in 2011. Expect draft specifications and even a possible ratification or two next year, but adoption of the standard will remain years off. Don’t let that hold you back from using cloud technologies, though, as most are built on the backs of prior standards efforts. Existing security, Web services, networking, and protocol standards are all in use by clouds. And cloud management tools are doing their best to abstract the difference from cloud to cloud.
  10. Cloud security will be proven but not by the providers alone. Because cloud security isn’t their responsibility —it’s shared. The cloud-leading enterprises get this, and we have already seen HIPAA, PCI, and other compliance standards met in the cloud. The cloud providers are certainly doing their part as evidenced by AWS’s recent ISO 27001 certification. The best practices for doing this will spread in 2011, but we should all remember that you shouldn’t hold off on cloud computing until you solve these high-bar security challenges. Get started with applications that are easier to protect.

Originally posted on Technobabble 2.0