Cloud Computing Evolution

I’ve started my week off with a couple discussions about Cloud Computing. The most interesting was with one of my firm’s Account Executives. It put me to thinking about several emerging trends I’ve been seeing.

So I figured why not blog about these thoughts before they escape me.

Cloud on the Cloud

There have been a couple cloud platform providers recently that have been delivering PaaS built upon another cloud provider.

The majority of the existing cloud providers that currently dominate the market already had significant investments into datacenters. In some cases, these providers started out simply trying to optimize management of their own applications. But the real issue here is that the either already had a significant investment in datacenters or deep enough pockets to make a significant one.

The thought here is that as inflation continues in its upward direction, it’s going to become increasing more difficult for new providers to build their own datacenters and provide a new generation of cloud services. So we may very well see more and more providers that build their solutions on larger providers platforms.

Will this new generation of providers eventually move onto their own platforms? Or will they continue to find ways to add value to other providers’ offerings? Only time will tell.

Industry Specific Clouds

This is a message I’ve been preaching a lot lately. Stop targeting generic solutions… no more assessment and migration offerings. Instead, start looking at crafting industry specific solutions. Financial Services Healthcare, Public Sector, etc… They want a partner that understands their industry specific challenges.

How much longer can this go on before we start seeing cloud providers that are targeting specific verticals? Some of this has already started to happen with specific solutions. But it’s only a matter of time before we see more generalized cloud providers that have tailored their cloud solutions to specific industries.

I think this approach could have some legs. It would potentially elevate some of the trust issues organizations have. They’d have a trusted provider they could go to that knows their business challenges and had a cloud solution specific for those needs.

Note: Christian Reilly pointed out to me we already are seeing these.

Cloud Co-ops

The third option is something that I haven’t seen much of since leaving the rural community I grew up in. Namely the notion of a co-op. For those of you not familiar with this, imagine a business that’s owned by its customers and exists primarily to help those customers do things as a larger group that they could never do as efficiently on their own. I can see co-op clouds being created.

Last year, I’ve mentioned such an alliance a couple times over on my Cloud news blog, but other than that, I haven’t seen much mention of these. But combine the idea of industry specific clouds, and the next thing you know we’ll have industry specific co-op cloud providers.

What’s Next?

Honestly, who knows. I’m just rambling here. There’s folks far smarter than myself pondering this same question. I’m sure there are several folks that have already ideas they’re working on. But whatever is coming next should prove interesting. And I honestly can’t wait to see it.

Until next time!

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