Cloud computing saw massive expansion in 2010. With the explosive growth of smartphones and stresses in network infrastructure, more of the same is expected in 2011. Datamation looks at what to expect in 2011.
The past year was a good one for cloud computing. According to Gartner, the cloud services market grew to $68.3 billion in 2010, a 16.6 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $58.6 billion. Gartner predicts that by 2014, cloud services revenue will balloon to $148.8 billion worldwide.
Gartner also reported that SaaS vendors raked in $9.2 billion in 2010, up 15.7 percent from 2009 revenue of $7.9 billion. The research firm believes the SaaS market will get even stronger in 2011, growing to $10.7 billion worldwide, a 16.2 percent increase from 2010 revenue.
Taking a look at a few major cloud/SaaS players, Salesforce.com saw its revenue nearly double in 2010 to $2 billion. UBS estimates that Amazon Web Services will earn $500 million by the end of the year, while one-time cloud skeptic, Oracle, gave in and embraced the cloud this year.
Both Microsoft and Google continue to invest heavily in cloud computing, although earnings estimates for their cloud efforts aren't currently available.
All in all, not bad during the worst recession since the 1930s.
I'm not going out on a limb by predicting that 2011 will be even better than 2010, which itself has been a year referred to as "the year of the cloud." Of course, predicting that the cloud sector will expand is easy. Here, though, are five more granular cloud computing predictions for 2011.
1. The Rise of Cloud Computing and Smartphones Threatens the PC
This is purely anecdotal, but watching a full slate of football games this past Sunday, I'd estimate that for every PC ad I saw a dozen ads for smartphones and four or five for tablets. No one is excited about new PCs anymore.
According to Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker, dubbed the "Queen of the Net" by Barron's, mobile Internet traffic will overtake fixed Internet traffic in the next couple of years.
Much of what will drive mobile Internet traffic is the single-purpose app. You won't first go to a browser to look for nearby restaurants on Yelp, to check sports scores or stocks or to navigate via Google Maps. You'll use an app that will leverage the cloud to deliver a computing experience previously unavailable on constrained devices. The cloud and post-PC devices will begin to change enterprise computing too.
The PC isn't going to disappear, but its status as the go-to computing device for consumers and businesses is under siege.