Blog de carácter "absolutamente personal", así que lo que aquí publico no tiene que coincidir con la opinión de las empresas para las que trabajo o con las que colaboro

miércoles, 23 de diciembre de 2009

"The Cloud" Covered The Entire Horizon

Reading this headline, anyone who has not followed recent information technology news –aimed at either the general public or the business sector – might get the wrong idea and think we are talking about the black cloud hanging over the world economy in general, or the ominous predictions that appear with some frequency regarding the situation in Spain.Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, we’re going to talk about a journalistic phenomenon in 2009 and one of the most promising trends, which we all know as "Cloud computing". For us at Telefónica, it is especially promising, as it could be just the boost our business needs. Already, we are seeing how some revenue streams, such as fixed broadband and mobile voice, are starting to dry up, and we even have to have alternatives for others that are still expanding (such as mobile broadband). Thanks to this term, we have seen how to materialise a vision which we have often shared with our customers: “the computer is the web”.

We have seen how, in these times of financial restriction, this concept has been capable of attracting large investments. The promise: to offer great advantages that will favour innovation and new economic models. We are not going to explain here what this concept consists of nor how it differs from hosting or virtualisation. For that, I refer you to the Internet, or the article “Lost in the Cloud”, in Revista Pulso
But let’s not simply get carried away by the latest buzzword. First, a little perspective. As it’s still premature to talk about figures, we’re going to use the information of one of the greatest repertories of collective knowledge on the Internet, and in that way try to gain some measure of this phenomenon. In addition, we’ll compare it with two of the terms that have been the flagships of modernity in IT in recent times: SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), which remains the most influential paradigm to reorder any company’s computing; and SaaS (Software as a Service), which are the computer applications that a provider offers from its data centres so we can use them easily.

Let’s see the evolution of these three terms worldwide over recent years (by the way, it seems likely that SaaS and Cloud Computing will end up being closely related – or even synonymous - terms, as technically they tend towards that).

Internet searches: a good indicator 
We’re going to use a tool which is public, free and operated entirely in the cloud: Google Trends. It provides information on the terms used by internet users in its search engine since 2004 and it even makes it possible to compare different terms
in order to see how trends have evolved. In no case does it provide the absolute number of searches.

Google Trends: Searches for SOA, SaaS and Cloud Computing throughout the world in recent years.
As you can see, "Cloud Computing" first appeared very recently but it is growing fast, while SOA and SaaS seem to have hit a ceiling. Even so, the net volume of searches for SOA is nine times greater than Cloud, and SaaS is over five times greater.

cloud computing 




Google Trends: Searches for SOA, SaaS and Cloud Computing only in the United States in recent years.
Our graph looks very different if we focus exclusively on traffic originating in the United States, where the net volume is already the same for SaaS and "Cloud Computing", and the term SOA is only four times more frequent than them. But the curve that indicates the trend leaves no room for doubt. If to this we add the fact that US marketing in information technologies is very influential in the rest of the world, it is not difficult to deduce that next year will be the year of the “Cloud”.

cloud computing 




Main related news
Now, having clarified that the idea of the ‘cloud’ is particularly relevant in the sphere of technology (as well as being a great business opportunity for us as an operator), I want to end by mentioning some of the article published in eKiss on the firms that are positioning themselves as the main players:

- [December] Microsoft commercially launches its online applications platform.
It’s called “Azure” and though it has been operating on a trial basis for over a year, with the start of next year it will have to demonstrate its robustness.

- [November] switches strategy to focus on the Cloud
During its most recent conference for developers, it made it clear. This company, a symbol of success in SaaS, now wants to run more applications on its platform.

- [November] IBM is a Big Cloud Player
Its proposal covers all the options, but its main advantage lies in the creation of “private clouds” on its robust infrastructure.

- [October] Large Companies and Cloud, increasingly compatible
Google captures major references using its email and office applications in the Cloud.

- [October] Cisco unveils another part of its cloud-collaboration
Cisco’s strategy is to put its business collaboration products online. That’s what it did with the popular  WebEx and it is gradually adding new components, on this occasion email.

- [September] Amazon talks about the “private cloud”
Its leadership remains clear, in both its ability to imagine new solutions and in putting these into practice.

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