Listen to my podcast with Jeff Kaplan, the Founder and Managing Director of ThinkStrategies. In this podcast we discuss in detail the next evolution with Cloud 2.0, a term Jeff brought up in this Forum, Is the Cloud Becoming Another Tech Bubble That's Bound to Burst?
Listen to or download the 7:09 minute podcast below:
PS: So what would you say is the current state of the cloud computing marketplace?
JK: Well, this marketplace is evolving quite rapidly and it's because of the tremendous success of the initial offerings that begin with the emergence of the software-as-a-service segment of the business and has now expanded into platforms-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service. In each of those three areas, our customers are gaining some very tangible and even measureable business benefits and that's spurring additional growth and additional advancements in this marketplace.
You've kind of touched on it, but how exactly is the market changing?
Well, the first round of offerings were being driven by the promise that organizations could adopt both software as well compute power more quickly and more economically via the cloud. And while that has proven to be the case and has certainly helped to [indiscernible] additional in adoption and growth, the new round of interest is around added business benefits that can be derived from these cloud services as well. So in addition to looking at ways in which people could save money, people are now looking at ways in which they can actually build their businesses and maybe even generate additional revenue or maybe a better competitive advantage.
Very interesting. Now, what would you say is the crucial difference then between Cloud 1.0 and 2.0?
Well, Cloud 1.0 was about ensuring that these kinds of services in fact just worked and could be procured in a quick and economic fashion to meet generic requirements across a wide cross section of organizations. So in the area of software-as-a-service for instance, it was around various horizontal applications starting with CRM, pioneered of course by Salesforce.com then moving into the collaboration area, and now finally looking at both back office apps with financial systems management and ERP built and supported by companies like NetSuite as well as even inter-enterprise apps around supply chain and e-procurement.
But after those successful forays into each of those horizontal areas became pretty well established and well accepted, the new realm in the SaaS marketplace and where we're starting to refer to this as a 2.0 world, is around SaaSfying, if you will, the business processes that are intimately involved in making specific industries work. So the specific and unique processes within specific industries whether they be manufacturing, or retail, insurance, or other forms of financial services. These are the kinds of the main specific capabilities that only industry experts in combination with cloud computing companies can in fact deliver to the marketplace to meet specific business requirements.
In the broader realm of platforms-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, we're again taking those generic resources and applying them to specific enterprise requirements and define vertical markets areas so that organizations in fact can leverage these resource to do more rather than just do more with less, if you know what I mean.
That sounds like a pretty big change. So what do these big changes essentially mean for IT business decision makers and the solution provider?
Well, we're moving beyond the basic questions of is this service reliable, is it scalable, is it secure, can I get my data back, which are all still legitimate questions as a starting point to more in-depth questions about industries specific expertise, and experience, and business benefits. So really looking at these providers from the point of view of their domain expertise and track record of success within specific industries so that when you're selecting these vendors you're not just betting on their ability to deliver a service of a generic nature, but also looking at how they can meet your specific requirements to give you competitive advantage within your own industry.
On ebizQ there's been a big discussion about public and private clouds and also all over the internet. How would this apply to Cloud 2.0?
Well, there's no question that we're gearing to continue to see a hybrid world of both public and private clouds as well as on demand and on premise applications. And what I think we're going to see here in the discussion about public versus private clouds is a couple of things. First of all, there will be some industry specific services offered in the public realm to meet the specific needs of certain industries where these are relatively pervasive. And those may satisfy some folks within the retail sector, or the manufacturing sector, or other industries of that nature.
But I think where you'll really see most of the action is in the building of private clouds to satisfy the specific requirements of individual companies who again are trying to gain a competitive advantage in this marketplace.
That makes a lot of sense. Now, who do you see as being the winners and losers in this market going forward?
Well ironically, it maybe some of the brand names from the past who reemerge as the long-term winners in the future. While it's been the pioneers like Amazon, and Google, and Salesforce who have obviously opened up this marketplace for others to follow, you may find that the established brands who in fact have a history of success within specific industries will reemerge once they catch up on fully understanding the technological as well as service delivery requirements of being a viable cloud provider as opposed to a traditional technology supplier.