Ok, So what do I think the future of cloud computing looks like?


My last post on what I thought the future of cloud computing looked like didn’t evoke the commentary or debate I had hoped… one of the problems with blogging I guess.


In that post I asserted that the similar industries had already given us clues as to what the future of cloud computing looked like.


“.. [look for] historical likeness, where have you seen this pattern before?  Rail, roading, electricity, shipping, telecommunications, the internet, grocery stores, banking (particular the US)…”


So ignoring the twists and turns of industries that represent them making their way, what did I mean when I think they show us the future?


They all show similarities (at the highest levels).


Examining the history of rail, banking and telecommunications , they all adhere to similar phases.


  • The fragmented start up – where early investors see the opportunity and build out an offering usually in one geography (ie county or state).  The most important thing to note, is that this pattern re-occurred in every nation. So not only multiple national hubs occurred, but every nation had hubs


  • Arrival of standards – users demand saw players interconnect because there was more value in this than just one provider – rail it was gauge, telecommunications IP, banking networks…


  • Emergence of dominant players – these systems all benefit from scale, so natural competitive forces lead to large players winning and small players loosing


  • Monopolistic threat or behaviours naturally occur after or during the dominance


  • Government intervention and regulation – to appease the consumer but also to control a strategic asset. These systems became so important that control became inevitable…


So what does this mean for cloud? I think we will see a similar pattern.


  • The Fragmented start up – CHECK

  • Arrival of standards – well people are calling for it and there are some

  • Emergence of dominant players – CHECK, I predict a lot more M&A activity in the near future . This will mean that all the mainstream cloud (is there such a thing?) being done by a small group of core providers with all the cool, innovative stuff begind done by small outfits and happening at the periphery,  
  • …who do I think will be the core providers?  SFDC, EMC/ VMWare, Cisco, Amazon, IBM…I’m struggling to see MS making it “you cannot disrupt yourself” according to the innovators solution


  • Governmental intervention – well that’s either inevitable or being asked for already


The bit that isn’t being seen yet but I believe will come is regionalisation. But when governments realise that cloud ‘could’ mean that a lot of IT jobs are threatened, eventually they will get to the conclusion that local clouds will give them most of the outcomes and retain employment…. and that will drive regionalisation.  I will probably by couched under some moniker like data sovereignty, but that will be the most important reason….


So there you go, that’s what I think the future of cloud computing looks like…