As a wild 2008 comes to a close, we thought it appropriate to see what might be on tap for what promises to be a rather unpredictable 2009. So, earlier this morning we released Appistry’s predictions for 2009 based on what we see swirling in our snow globe/crystal ball.
And what we see is a cloudy forecast. And cloudy is good! 2008 saw cloud computing emerge as perhaps the most discussed enterprise technology of the year. We saw industry behemoths like Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft lay down some serious stakes in the cloud market. We saw others, such as Oracle, dismiss the evolution that is occurring in the market. We saw companies like GoGrid and SkyTap make moves to improve the experience enterprises have in public clouds. And, I’d be remiss in not mentioning, a seven-year-old company called Appistry took bold steps to build out a platform that lets enterprises develop and move apps to both public and private clouds. Exciting times indeed.
So, what do we see coming up in 2009? Let’s take a look at what we predicted in the press release:
2009 Will Herald the “Year of the Cloud” for Enterprises
Virtualization has matured; the economy is sinking while business costs are rising; and private clouds have already captured enterprise attention for their inherent security and reliability. These factors and more have created an ideal environment for enterprise cloud computing to thrive in 2009.
Cloud Platforms Will Begin to Overtake the App Server in 2009
Oracle and others will continue to fight a losing battle to keep their legacy application server cash cows alive. Oracle will do everything it can to protect its Oracle Application Server and BEA WebLogic franchises. In no way should they be counted out of the market, but newer, cloud-specific platforms are poised to further erode aging middleware options.
HP Finally Works Its Way into Middleware
While competitors scramble to save the app server, companies such as HP will be presented with an opportunity to capitalize on their competitors’ app server weaknesses. Without the constraints of older middleware that must be retrofitted for the cloud, HP is poised to use cloud computing to take market share from IBM’s traditionally reliable middleware business. In the past, these two behemoths have battled it out around hardware and services, but HP could smell blood in ’09 and look to take advantage of a rare IBM weakness in software.
Several Organizations Will Offer Standards for Cloud Computing – Standards Debate Rages On
Historically, technologies have evolved and succeeded because of standards. The process of getting to these standards is often a dirty, political and hard-fought mess. 2009 will see this same evolution take shape around the cloud. Already we’re seeing several attempts at standardization, including IBM’s RCC. The year ahead is just the beginning; we don’t expect true standards to emerge until well into 2010. The question is: Who will win the battle and drive the process?
Amazon Will Release Tools to Enter the Platform Arena
While most eyes are on Google and Microsoft, Amazon has emerged as the company doing the heaviest lifting to advance cloud computing. Look for Amazon to move up the stack by offering additional tools for cloud developers in 2009, putting them at odds with the partner ecosystem they’ve built around companies such as RightScale, Elastra, 3tera and Appistry.
Oh, and there’s one more I think will happen, but the lawyers yanked it out of the release for "copyright" reasons:
Jack Bauer Will Take Advantage of Cloud Computing during Episode of 24; The Cloud Will Never be the Same
Jack Bauer – the only man to win a game of Connect4 in 3 moves – will take advantage of cloud computing during this season of 24. In an attempt to stop a global threat of epic proportions, Jack Bauer will deploy himself into a public cloud effectively saving all of mankind
I encourage you to contribute your own predictions in the comment section of this post (and send these around to your friends and colleagues to see what they predict). I also invite you to participate in an interactive webinar we are hosting next Thursday, December 18, 2008, from 2:00 PM (EST) to 3:00 PM (EST), where a panel of Appistry executives — Kevin Haar, our CEO; Bob Lozano, our co-founder and chief strategist, Michael Groner, co-founder and chief architect, moderated by yours truly — will take an in-depth look into each of these predictions (even the Jack Bauer one). Those interested can register for the webinar at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/580758866
Here’s to a very cloudy and prosperous 2009!