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Data Center Predictions for 2009 - Part 1: Cloud Computing gold rush to intensify; Nationalization will invoke wealth portfolio evaluation!

We are heading for a cold and chilly K-wave winter (coincidentally I see that it is a Dutch link). This according to some will have started by 2008 and may, if the past few years has been any baseline, continue until 2014. Although there are numerous variables that may be thrown in. One major positive variable that is, if no sinister forces try to steal away our freedom and thoughts*, capable of generating and spreading enormous amount of wealth globally, is the internet, the web. This wealth is, as Alfred Nobel said, contentment and depending of what will keep you content in the future, you may have access to acquire it immediately. The variable will definitely be the today much hyped and clearly misunderstood phenomena we call Cloud Computing.

During my last keynote at a recent CloudCamp in Brussels, we had several vendors- including Microsoft, Amazon, Quest etc, and we were struggling to understand what Cloud Computing really was. I just thought of it while discussing with someone from a small yet ambitious firm, and I realized that we were talking about the industrialization of the Internet. An industrialized intenet, that is your cloud. This is what will happen and has got to happen. The increasing consumerization of the Internet will happen. There is one real way to have regulated and yet free markets operate. Too much freedom will and is bound to create chaos, the Cynefin (proposed by David Snowden) dilemma, which is slowly rising. It will need some kind of control. It will force nationalization to some extent. The current partial nationalization may seem to stifle the banking systems in their freedom to operate, but it surely will help a lot if it is measured.

So much for the bad news, the answer is obviously Cloud Computing. This wave of freedom and creativity will help us create the next K-wave, which I have been fondly calling Ideation for a long time. This ideation-age will help us solve bigger problems on this planet and it will certainly raise hell, should we not be checked and controlled. I also have sketched a model for a regulatable Global economy, which I also displayed at the CCBXL, and one of the key ingredient or rather the pre-requisite was the Cloud.

So lets take a look at, if the nations started looking into their portfolios. For the sake of simplicity I have taken the top 50 global IT firms and some 25 top telecom providers. The reason why we go for the top list is because they are also aggresively contributing to the Cloud Computing, some are heavily investing in the Data Centers, such as IBM, HP, Microsoft, AT&T, KPN, NTT etc and others are busy building services around it. Surely there will be other smaller ones also and we will do more crunching as we go sector by sector.

These are typical ingredients of the harappanization of the Cloud Computing on the masses, I spoke about in an article sometime back. There is ideology and technology component. The central state, can be the requirement to accelerate the adoption to the rest of the 5 billion, will happen fast.

So lets look at who has the most power as of yet.

Clearly the selection of the top 50 Global companies, shows that US still has a lot of wealth, for many global firms like IBM, HP etc, it may still be the matter of how the money is spread and what all comes back. But it is driven by US.

Now lets look at the employee ratios, split by countries. 2.5M constitute only to US. What does that mean? Should they, the not-so-cloud-ready workforce, be let go? As you'll see, will happen in the the year 2009. All this will lead to a significant drop in the margins before it is effectively replaced by a very well run self-serviceable Cloud Center. That's why they're going after the Cloud Computing so hard. So if you change this and see how these mere numbers relate to the employee numbers vs revenue, mapped by country, then you'll see the disposable layer. Now this is where the nationalization of the data centers might come in. You cannot render a huge amount of workforce useless and still go for the riches, the platform for which may seem ripe but a lot needs to be done before we get there. And these numbers are not definite, there is a huge sea of the ones beyond this list of 50 and 25 providers. So don't panic already, there is more hope in the democratization of the cloud, probably more than ever.

And finally if you see the revenue of these firms in Millions per country basis, you'll see that many tactics could be deployed to merge several entities within the geographical boundaries, and thus achieve a stronger and more importantly, sustainable global clouds. That is the key: first do it at home and then start telling the neighbor.

So, all in all, we will see the following happening:

  • Cash remaining will be weighed against (collective) survivability.
  • Cloud Computing will be implemented/deployed/sold aggressively as it is really crucial if firms have to shed the fat.
  • National interventionism will increase and Data Centers will not be left alone.
Play yourself with the data that I used below and tell me what you think I should add more:


Data: ButlerGroup
Tool: Visokio Omniscope


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