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Editor's note: Read Part I of this article here!



It's prediction season, and in order to come up with our own annual predictions for what CIOs should expect in cloud computing this year, we asked our feet on the street -- the Appirio team of nearly 200 cloud practitioners who are on the ground accelerating the adoption of cloud computing for hundreds of real-life customers.

Since the power of cloud computing is based on the concept of shared infrastructure, it's 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.

We published the 10 ideas that rose to the top of the voting last week -- predictions ranging from cloud standards and vendor lock-in, to cloud communities and collaboration, to integration and industry consolidation.

We covered cloud leaders including Salesforce, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, and cloud wannabes, including Oracle and the Global SIs. Overall, we expect 2010 to be a year of maturity for the cloud, especially the business of cloud computing for the enterprise.

In part two of our 2010 cloud predictions, we wanted to revisit the ideas that did not rise to the top of the voting. Some of these ideas are even more provocative, and all are interesting topics to explore. So here's a summary of the ideas that didn't make the cut for our top 10 predictions, and our assessment of why.

Some ideas were simply too close to call-- any of these could have very easily also been in our top 10:

  • An Indian outsourcer will finally unveil a cloud offering. Wipro, Infosys and TCS have been mostly on the sidelines of cloud computing, fully occupied with the low-hanging fruit of stealing market share from the Global SIs. That will change in 2010 as they realize that cloud computing is as disruptive to the services market as off-shoring. Their challenge will be in the infrastructure -- moving from a cost-of-labor advantage to a technology advantage.
  • Enterprise PaaS for mobile apps. We'll see a cross-device platform for the creation of mobile enterprise applications emerge, so that mobile app developers enjoy the same benefits as Web apps from cloud application platforms. The iPhone is an obvious source for this platform, since consumer application platforms already exist. But, Google Android is the runner up -- mobile support for Google Gadgets would give enterprises another reason to develop on the emerging Google platform.
  • Cloud consortia will form and fail, especially those driven by on-premise providers. Cisco, EMC, and VMware are a great example -- fantastic thought leadership, but we have low expectations for enterprise adoption. The HP-Microsoft alliance will absolutely fall into the same boat. We saw this with the Internet as wel l-- fear-driven partnerships between those disrupted by a new technology.
  • We'll see the community kill a call center. Consumers hate their experience with a traditional call center -- we'll see at least one company in 2010 shut theirs down, replacing it with community support through a variety of channels. Seeing a live "call center" in the cloud on the expo floor of Dreamforce this year was an eye opener for many heads of service -- a distributed global team can now be more effective than a centralized call center at handling customer requests, especially when they come in via phone, email and Twitter.

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