Here is our take on the current trends and the information available today that allows to see a bit into future and say what would be going strong a few months down the line.
1. Amazon Web Services
Amazon is incredibly innovative and popular and by all means the yardstick with which the rest of the market can be measured. Amazon was the pioneer, and is the market leaders of today, and honestly, I don’t see a good competitor going close enough in recent future to give them any headaches.
Recently they have had their first major outage, which, was not handled very well from a PR perspective. Having said that, it’s alright to have that reality show up its face once in a blue moon.
Google has been able to surprise the market and public more than once with their ideas. Google has already been investing in Chromium OS (Google Chrome OS), an open source operating system initiative. Recently Google announced to have tied up with Samsung and Acer for manufacturing netbooks under the brand name of “Chromebooks”. Not going too much into details of the netbook, it should be sufficient to say that the secondary storage in the netbook is primarily cloud based. It intends to harness the Google Apps power for the netbook user.
This could very well be the next big thing from Google, given that there goes an unprecedented innovation and trust brand with them. The installed base of Google Apps is huge as it is, and then taking it to a low cost netbook is going to be very very interesting.
Cloud Application marketplaces are emerging pretty fast, and probably the front-runner among them is Google Apps Marketplace. It provides a platform for third party vendors to extend the SaaS offering of Google. Google Apps as such already has a sizable market share, around 5 million users and few hundred applications. This clearly has huge potential to grow, now that the cloud ecosystem is slowly but surely getting bigger.
Microsoft is known to invest good money when it decides to go for a technology. Same is happening with their Azure platform, their own version of a cloud platform. All things Microsoft on cloud can be built/hosted around Azure, but not limited to that. Azure allows the developers to not limit themselves to any language/framework. Azure has got SQL Server on Cloud offering integrated with it. Although the complete package still has a long way to go, the way it stands today, its still pretty good and shows a lot of growth potential.
Github is perhaps the most used source code repository these days. Thanks to the revolutionary distributed version management system that it supports (git), the popularity among the developers is huge. With open source software the flavor of the times, github doesn’t charge you till your code is open source. Further, github makes money by selling closed source code repository space to individuals/ organizations. Based on a subscription model, github is placed perfectly in the growth trajectory for jumping higher up.
Salesforce.com pioneered the idea of CRM on cloud. Since then, they have come a long way, and now they are planning to add a whole suite of cloud based offerings. Since their acquisition of Heroku, they have placed themselves in the PaaS vendor category as well. Heroku serves ruby on rails applications from its AWS based platform, and has been the leader in providing such cloud based service. With their own business base, and now with addition of services like Heroku and database.com, Salesforce.com is going to be a force to reckon with in cloud space.
Twilio is a unique website, providing communication solutions over the cloud. Twilio provides an API for building voice and SMS solutions over the cloud. Based on XML the whole system works based on passing around XML messages. Among the multiple APIs published by Twilio, there are solution possibilities for individuals as well as businesses, covering the whole spectrum of customers.
successfactors is an employee appraisal facilitation company with multiple solutions. In addition to multiple other services, they provide a private cloud for the enterprise which can be used for employee profiling and social networking. Similar to Salesforce.com’s chatter, yet different in strategy and implementation. With more and more enterprises focusing on enabling and empowering employees, successfactors is poised for a huge chunk of that business pie.