Gartner’s recent report on cloud computing outlines three phases of evolution for the cloud computing market through 2015 and beyond. In the report Gartner appears to make the mistake of lumping together the whole SaaS market. In CODA‘s view, the take-up of SaaS in small, medium and large organizations is proceeding at different rates – smaller organizations are using SaaS more extensively then larger ones. The speed of take-up is also different depending on industry – for example, services, consulting, media and high-tech are moving ahead faster than others. But the others will catch up once developers learn what SaaS platforms can facilitate and start to develop more compelling offerings.
Gartner’s main assertion is about how long it will take for service-enabled application platforms (SEAPs) to evolve. Lydia Leong from Gartner admits that Cloud computing in general already has substantial business uptake, with potential for radical acceleration due to the economic downturn, and that it is a no-brainer for those that have a public-facing web infrastructure.
I don’t believe that corporate scepticism towards cloud computing stems from issues with platform technology. Cloud-to-cloud linking is already a fundamental requirement for SaaS applications. What the market is still lacking is good applications, particularly in critical areas of business like accounting. Many cloud computing providers are start-ups building apps from the ground up, with little market experience. Without making use of SEAPs, these ‘trailblazers’ will slow SaaS growth and eventually fall by the wayside.
The platform technology is there and like anything will continue to evolve and develop but cloud computing’s success is dependent on us, the developers, to use that technology to innovate. We have to know how to make use of it; know how to build applications and sell them innovatively and sensibly. Right now, CODA 2go on Force.com is fully integrated with Google Apps and Amazon S3. On top of that, we link to other clouds for payments and other add-ons. All of this demonstrates that SEAP platforms are more mature than Gartner gives them credit for.