I attended Software 20/20 -conference in Helsinki last week. Over 400 professionals from software industry gathered to discuss about future of software. Among others Gartner people gave their view on the future trends of technology. For the first time for years, Business Intelligence was NOT the number 1 in the list of CIOs’ top strategic technologies. This time it was virtualization and cloud computing. They explained that Cloud Computing is now where service oriented architecture (SOA) was in 2005, everyone is asking questions, talking about it, figuring out the benefits, figuring out the vendors etc. Nowadays SOA architecture is just being implemented, all the fuzz and hype has disappeared, companies walk the walk.
It seems, that cloud computing is going through similar learning curve than so many IT technologies before. Previously a technology was picked up by large organizations and developers next as they hired graduates or worked with the academic or scientific organizations. Later the mid-tier companies adopted the technology, and finally small organizations. But this time is it a little bit different as it is small players who lead the way. 451 Research’s survey and discussions with executives at end-user organizations have shown something surprising about cloud computing adoption: small organizations and governmental organizations (local, regional and some national) are moving first. Their needs for cost reduction are pushing them to move in this direction. Developers are moving right along with small organizations and governmental organizations – largely for the same reasons, needing to cut up front costs. These groups simply can’t afford their current approaches to computing and have been forced to try something new. On the other hand, Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of F-Secure Corporation, said in the conference that also big companies are searching ways to reduce their cost of computing platforms, and moving to cloud. This is supported by another survey from the US (by cloud-solution provider Appirio): US 68% of IT decision makers at midsized to large North American companies say that within three years, the majority of their daily applications and online data will no longer run on local servers and instead will run in the public cloud (aka the internet).
Bitbar has been at forefront of providing cloud based continuous integration, build and test solutions for software developers. And as we are getting traction from smaller companies, bigger players are still hesitant to utilise flexibility and efficiency of cloud computing in their software development. Our suggestion is to start with one project or with one product program and try it out in an isolated scheme, realize the benefits and then roll out to the next project. Soon one will find out, that there is no need to discuss and justify server investments in the management board meetings, but one can concentrate on more strategic issues or for example how to serve customers better or indeed improve top line growth.