Thursday, November 20, 2008

Data Center Pedictions 2009- Part 2: Cloud Computing, MNSPs and Mobility will have long term impact

Today we have some great use cases (possible input for eventual practices) and amazing (Amazoning?) models coming out of the cloud. Clearly we see that the years of crunching experience that firms like Google (search, which I have often called a Query 1.0 Framework), and Amazon (which has moved, or should I say, had foundations laid in the Query 2.0 model), have adopted will be putting them in pioneers role.

So these crunch gods are today leading the show, we do have many players such as Microsoft, IBM, HP etc go after this model , and many may seem to make a quick and an early tie with Google and Amazon, but is it enough for them to succeed as Cloud gods? We know one thing for sure, Amazon, due to its accidental choice of Query 2.0 platform , may have an edge above the rest of the parties. For now. But what does the future hold for data crunching at minimal cost? Obviously there is a dire need to think up of a business model which can seamlessly help eke uit a plan that will help firms from the S-Belly cramp. The shelfware sales will dwindle as time passes by and the SaaS/CloudApps will have to sell cheap or else you don't have a reasonable cloud case.

But this is about to change dramatically as the web matures and as mobile networking and ubiquitous computing stretches the demand on both ends. This stretch will be the real test to the elasticity of both providers and consumers. Consumers will decide eventually.

So who is a MNSP?

A MNSP, Managed Network Service Providers, are the ones who will do everything for you. There is a much larger and refined definition, which Gartners and others define in their own way. but the bottom line is simple: all your cores (networking, storage, operating systems etc) woes will be handled by some third party. And why MNS providers will run with the pie? Just look at this bubble graph, based on user sentiment but also on Revenue, revenue growth, vertical reach, horizontal reach, services portfolio etc.

Source: ButlerGroup

and now lets look at other factors such as Service quality, support, capabilities etc

Source: ButlerGroup

So at some point in time, we will see two major pushes into the market. One is centrally driven, provisioned, CoC-type compliant provisioned centers and the other push that will almost totally eliminate the static consumer computing and move to the mobile computing. This is why vendors are investing madly into the mobile computing and acquisitions.

Just take a look at these graph and you will see where the massive surge of mobile computing will take place.

Source: ButlerGroup

With an ailing economy, which is not about to set free, it will be increasingly hard or traditional vendors and traditional service providers will have to do more than just go on a mad or rapid restructuring spree. Surely, to drive a massive culture change, which is the crux of this whole transformation drive, much of the seared and withered leaves will have to be shaken up. This will lead to all sorts of, not that they are all justifiable, layoffs. You are seeing around yourself.

Although a totally different angle, but just look at the ailing auto industry in the U.S. Do you really think an injection of $25Bn will help them? Will they really be able to drive innovation? Can they really transform? While this is a more sensitive issue where a lot of political/emotional clout will be leveraged to get that lump sum, I am rather skeptical to how it will really help the emerging markets and the increasingly transforming new citizenry. The new generation that consumes differently. That consumes altogether different product.

So the trick is indeed is to transform strategically and tactically. A continuous transformational plan is something many firms will have to simply get used to. Cloud Computing may not necessarily disengage the middle, but it certainly will create a platform where the consumers will be able to choose to either jump straight from their mobile devices to the cloud platform and do their computation OR the enterprise will use the CSER ,which will definitely be driven and controlled by the local state authorities, primarily the "green drive", to encourage mobile computing.

Obviously security will be a burden for quicker adoption and a in-built security checkpoint mechanism will surely enable and certify those MNS providers to assure their consumers and guests of complete protection against any breaches. This would also mean that the MNS will have to pass and share information with the local security authorities, this ensuring that a very well defined policy-driven, secure and compliant environment will have to be established.

Healthcare will be the early adopters/adapters and with the increasing pressures, primarily financial, many organizations will do everything to deploy mobility together with trusted advisers and partners. Mostly may start by doing transactions/purchases through retailers but will/may do business directly with the vendors themselves or in co-hosted/collaborative ways.

For instance, if you look at the players in the market, you will see that enterprise computing, which is chiefly driven by email and other applications, will tend to see Microsoft as a logical leader when it comes to move towards the cloud.

Source: ButlerGroup

As you can see here Microsoft is extremely strong in both Application, like the recently launched Cloudapps Exchange Online and slowly moving horizontally and vertically up the quadrant with other services such as BI (SQL OLAP), Collaboration/Messaging (SharePoint).

So a typical scenario could be that an enterprise decision to move its operations to cloud may be a more phased operation, while for an SME, it might be an easier and logical choice.

Although this may not happen today, but I do predict that within 3 quarters a lot will happen. There will be more contraction within several industries and many will perish as they will not be able to transform swiftly and may also bet on the wrong parties (financial and/or reputational instability) , thus endangering their own sustainability.

Sources: ButlerGroup

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