Modern IT application projects have become massive budget items, beyond the means of many enterprises and software vendors.
That's why Cloud computing is such a sought after technology today. Because it offers a way out. It represents the lean consumption of computing resources; the antithesis of bulky, expensive hardware acquisition and lengthy code writing projects. It follows the ‘just in time' production model - where you use only what you need without carrying unnecessary IT baggage. Multi-tenancy and elasticity are synonymous with the Cloud - enabling businesses to grow without incurring a direct IT cost penalty that previously made businesses think twice before attempting anything innovative.
And it's already here. Cloud computing represents a global market that's forecast to reach $43.2 billion by 2012; growing at a CAGR of 25.7 percent. (TechNavio Insights, Global Cloud Computing Services Market, 2008-2012), with Infrastructure services set to reach nearly $10 billion in 2013.
However, I don't believe that enterprises will be forced to choose between traditional on premise hosting and Cloud computing. The latest estimates from Gartner Inc tend to confirm this. They expect that Cloud applications will only account for, wait for it, a whopping 20% of business applications in the enterprise by 2013 (as shown in the not-so-clear reproduction of the graph below). That means that by far, the larger proportion of enterprise applications will remain on-premise.
If this is the case, then the main challenge for businesses now will be to learn how to effectively balance on- and off-premise deployments, and how to better integrate their newly acquired Cloud applications with their existing on-premise applications to get the most value from their overall data mix.
To do this, Cloud platform vendors need to understand that businesses are run by people, not machines. And they should build their Cloud platforms accordingly.
The uniPaaS platform is one that has it right. It doesn't force businesses to choose a Cloud-only deployment mode that puts customers at the mercy of the big bad vendor. Instead, it lets you play the field, so you can deploy your application on-premise, or in the Cloud, or both - and even switch from one to the other simply and cost-efficiently as and when business needs change.
For any size enterprise or software vendor looking to benefit from the Cloud revolution, this is undoubtedly a game-changer worth a look at.