2010 Predictions – Wisdom of Crowds and the Cloud Community

December 16, 2009 Appirio

Ryan Nichols

At the core, the power of cloud computing is the concept of shared infrastructure. Fitting that our 2010 predictions about cloud computing be powered by a shared infrastructure of a different sort– the collective knowledge of Appirio employees and customers.

Think about how a prediction about the future (or any strategic decision, for that matter) is usually made– by “experts” in a room with a whiteboard. Contrast that with how we come up with our predictions– we canvas our team of nearly 200 cloud practitioners, on the ground as we speak, accelerating the adoption of cloud computing at hundreds of real-life customers. Our shared experience drives improved insight– despite 2009’s uncertainties, we think a CIO would have been well guided by our predictions last year. We were even more provocative in our predictions for 2010, but think that a compelling set of ideas rose to the top of the voting. Check out the full list here, but here’s a summary:

2010 will be a year of maturity for the cloud, especially the business of cloud computing for the enterprise. We think that cloud providers will tackle the issue of lock-in, but will be too busy innovating to agree on any type of standards. We’re bullish on cloud integration, but bearish on enterprise collaboration as a stand-alone category (it needs to be integrated). We expect Google to expand its enterprise footprint, and actually expect Microsoft to start letting Azure cannibalize its enterprise accounts. Overall, we think 2010 will be a year of consolidation among the vendors in the cloud ecosystem— Oracle is likely to use this opportunity to buy their way into cloud computing. That’s better than Accenture– the most innovative thing we expect from them next year is a replacement for their Tiger Woods marketing campaign.

As interesting as these 10 predictions are the ideas that didn’t rise to the top– watch for a post next week on the more controversial ideas that didn’t make the cut for our top 10 predictions.

So that’s the collective wisdom of our team– but why stop there? We’ve reopened the voting, and are inviting our customers, partners, and the cloud community at large to join in the conversation. Let us know what you think— your perspective can only make us collectively smarter.

Also, why stop at using the community to make predictions about the cloud? Appirio has always been about tapping an extended set of resources to actually accelerate the adoption of the cloud: We use a the global community of talent, including a fantastic offshore team in Jaipur, a network of independent cloud strategists, and a distributed base of employees in over 22 states (we’re convinced we have the absolute best cloud talent in Montana, for example). But this is just the beginning. One of our predictions for 2010 is that the “Cloud developer community grows faster than open-source.” Tapping the power of the community will be a powerful weapon to accelerate enterprise adoption of the cloud, one that we intend to take full advantage of.

After all, the cloud is powered by shared infrastructure. Why should the “human cloud” be any different?

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