Both cloud and mobile computing create a major impact in businesses these days. Each of them appears as a major source of revenue for market vendors who wish to capitalize on products that are popular among users. But, the numbers game states that mobile computing gets all the money and only 1 to 2 percent goes to cloud computing. It seems an obvious sign that cloud computing is being left behind by iPad, iPhone and Android.
Stats showed the cloud and mobile computing revenue performance last year. In 2010 cloud earned $3 billion from its 3 main products: infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and software (SaaS). This figure came from IaaS, Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) that earned $500 million in 2010, and Rackspace, that made about $100 million. Of the 3 products SaaS did better from Salesforce.com that brought in $1.3 billion in 2010, NetSuite, RightNow, SuccessFactors, and Taleo tallied $200 million each. Earnings from PaaS were not disclosed because the earning was very small to make it very significant.
Now if money is the concern, mobile technology definitely has something to say, because it brought in a huge $173 billion in 2010. This came from 3G data plans that earned $62 billion, $99 billion came from smartphone sales ($29 billion came from Apple, $20 billion from Nokia, $15 billion from Research in Motion, and $9 billion from Samsung), tablet sales also went up from iPad last year that did $10 billion, and $2 billion from app sales ($1.7 billion of the sales only came from Apple). Notice that these figures do not include iTunes and other audio-video sales from mobile devices. But, if that figure counts it made $8 billion, with $4.1 billion coming from Apple and $3.3 billion from Amazon.com.
How can the Cloud match up with the Mobile Race?
If the figures will tell who is on the forefront and who is lagging behind, that will be an easy guess. A good point to consider is for mobile to help with the cloud infrastructure, since cloud is dependent on it after all.
An analysis of this partnership will start with the storage system. Since, mobile devices have limited local storage and all the space is occupied by music files; this is where cloud computing can enhance the service through Box.net and Dropbox.
In fact, Google is already heading towards that direction with its Music Beta service. We reported yesterday about Apple’s announcement to launch iCloud together with MobileMe. It is expected in the near future that both personal and business data will occupy the cloud storage. This will not come as a surprise because access anywhere using any computer or mobile gadget is very convenient for users. Amazon.com should capitalize on this to grow its IaaS business.
Another platform that is making waves is the SaaS where the bulk of revenue came from. With HTML5 now being widely used, it is about time for SaaS to develop new Web applications. A better deal for SaaS would be to require subscription fees for mobile Web applications rather that selling it for only $5 dollars. This will be an ongoing revenue and will sell like hotcakes because updates are free to iOS and Android Web apps.
Apple will be another supporter, since they already developed a subscription model. They may charge 30%, but this will no longer be relevant if the amount of revenue they made will be the point. Apple made 16 times more money than Google last year; this is a lot of money if Saas will follow suit.
Other than SaaS, there are still a lot of applications where cloud computing will be useful like: mobile navigation, video conferencing, radio and television streaming, travel guide and expense reporting. Too bad that Google seem to be interested only in giving free services while selling Ads; not realizing that this could can drive a very handsome revenue if placed on Google Mobile service that comes with a yellow pages and collection services.
Cloud computing is all about having almost all services rented than a onetime investment. This is what vendors love, making more money on a continuous service rather than selling the product. Most companies like Adobe Systems are following suit by designing new subscription offerings for Creative Suite.
This is where a partnership with mobile and cloud computing will benefit the most; mobile can provide their trained people for technical support on a fee for access subscription service. They are yet to realize their potential together on a common business model. This may not be so good for individuals and businesses, but this may be the only way to make cloud a more meaningful service that it is today.