Our Next Cloud-Computing Research


So we’re starting to think about this. Our development process for a new study can be as short as a week or as long as two months, from when we start work till we have a draft survey. And normally in a case such as this one, where we’ve studied a market so thoroughly and often,* I’d expect it to last about a week.

Well, two weeks is all we’ve got, but truth to tell I wish it were two months. While it is very valuable to ask the same questions successively over the course of a year or two or three—much more valuable than most people realize, since the repetition of “trending” allows your analysis to correct for inevitable errors in design—I’ll tell you, this particular market of cloud computing is so different as well as so rapidly evolving that I think we might have to scrap 75% of the work we’ve done, and start over.

Most cloud-computing distinctions that we’ve been making have started to seem silly to me: public, private, hybrid; IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, BPaaS; these are the main ones. Since you can, even if the practice is quite uncommon as yet, use cloud computing on a very micro basis (just pushing a feature or two into the cloud, leaving the rest of an application intact), these distinctions start to become meaningless, at least on the application level.

And that’s been our approach so far. We’ve asked more what people are doing with their applications than, say, what approach or strategy they are currently adopting. That does sound kind of wishy-washy, but it’s not. It just acknowledges, I think, what cloud computing really is: a strategic approach to the use of technology to provide capabilities to the organization. And I hope we can acknowledge this in our next study.

* Six studies in two years, three feature stories, two virtual trade-shows, two conference sessions, and about ten webinars. That’s a lot to me, anyway.