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Cloud Talk

Andre Yee

Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011

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It's that time of the year, when bloggers and pundits offer their technology predictions for the new year. Typically, I'm late to this obligatory post, mostly because the start of the year tends to be a particularly busy time for me. But what I lack in timeliness, I hopefully make up in foresight. Just check out my "bonus prediction" from last January when I predicted that Larry Ellison (then a cloud skeptic) would convert and become a chief booster.

Here are my top 5 predictions for the 2011.

1. Open Cloud Standards Makes Slow Progress

I'd love to see open cloud standards and the benefits that come with it - portability, interoperability and robust security. Manifestos have been written and industry debates have continued. Yet, notwithstanding the work of the Open Stack group, real progress toward an open cloud stack has been slow coming. Actual interoperability and data portability will likely be driven by major cloud providers responding to commercial pressures rather than standards groups. When it comes to the future of the cloud, proprietary de-facto standards, rather than open standards will rule the day.

2. Mobile + Cloud = Explosive Growth

Mobility will drive the growth of cloud computing in 2011 and beyond. With the wealth of research data (like this report by Mary Meeker) pointing to the growth of mobile Internet access, this hardly represents a bold prediction. Furthermore, according to ABI Research, the mobile cloud computing market will grow to $5.2B by 2015. With not only a plethora of smartphones already in the market, but also the emergence of the tablet as the favorite form-factor, 2011 will mark a critical tipping point for mobile cloud computing. Much of this growth has thus far been driven by social cloud applications but 2011 will see the introduction of more mobile cloud applications/tools for collaboration and mobile commerce.

3. HTML5 is the New Face of the Cloud Application

Most of these new mobile cloud applications will be written as HTML5 web applications. Expect HTML5 to gain momentum and mainstream adoption, fueled once again by the broad acceptance of tablets/iPad. HTML5 is the UI standard for the mobile cloud and it's here to stay.

4. Make or Break Year for Enterprise 2.0

Over the past 3-4 years, much has been made of Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0), by both boosters and detractors alike. Proponents highlight it as revolutionary while detractors call it a marginal change to enterprise application model. Yet, if there's been an E2.0 revolution, it's been a quiet one. This is a make or break year for E2.0 - it'll either fade into the sunset as an old, misunderstood concept or stake its place as a game-changing enterprise model. Could 2011 signal the year that the enterprise cloud application finally gets social? There are signs that indicate it could be - Salesforce.com's Chatter product is just the beginning of a wave of business applications that will incorporate social networking principles into its design and feature set. If you're interested, check out what I've written about the socialization of the enterprise cloud.

5. NOSQL Gains Momentum

The NOSQL movement made waves in 2010 but I expect to see this pick up momentum in 2011. As cloud applications grapple with internet scale and application performance, many software developers are rethinking the data tier in new ways - often eschewing relational databases in favor of new NOSQL options like Hadoop, MongoDB and Amazon's SimpleDB. Other vendors while not abandoning RDBMSs completely, are finding ways of incorporating these NOSQL technologies in the data architecture - it's becoming mainstream as leading companies like Facebook and Amazon promote its virtues.

Andre Yee blogs about cloud computing, SaaS, Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies that matter to businesses.

Andre Yee

Andre Yee is an entrepreneur and technologist with nearly 20 years of experience in the business of technology.

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