Stamford (CT) - The research and advisory company Gartner reported yesterday on what it believes is a necessary seven year cycle between now and mainstream cloud computing acceptance - and even eventual commoditization.
Mark Driver, research VP at Gartner, said, "As [service-enabled application platforms] SEAP technologies mature during the next several years, Gartner foresees three distinct, but slightly overlapping, phases of evolution. The first phase, through 2011, will be that of the pioneers and trailblazers; the second, running from 2010 through 2013, will be all about market consolidation; while the third phase, from 2012 through 2015, will see mainstream critical mass and commoditization."
The timeline breakout is pretty simple and overlaps slightly:
Phase 1: 2007 thru 2011 - Pioneers and Trailblazers.
Phase 2: 2010 thru 2013 - Market Consolidation.
Phase 3: 2012 thru 2015 and beyond - Mainstream Critical Mass and Commoditization.
"...Technologically aggressive application development organizations should look to cloud computing for tactical projects through 2011, during which time the market will begin to mature and be dominated by a select group of vendors. Following this period, Gartner predicts that the market will see a surge of new vendors and subsequent consolidation as cloud computing becomes appealing to more mainstream application development organizations. By 2015, cloud computing will have been commoditized and will be the preferred solution for many application development projects."
This model, while providing data transparency across platforms and enabling rich features like shared data and massively parallel processing means you can access at home that which can be accessed at your friend's house, at work or at a pay-for-service kiosk in an airport somewhere in exactly the same way you last left the programs and data. Updates are automatically rolled out as well and there is no local maintenance involved in computers using the cloud.
Concerns over cloud computing relate to privacy as the user's data, as well as access and software use are recorded on and by remote equipment which is ultimately viewable by people outside of the consumer's own personal control.