Gartner has released a new report that predicts a 7 year time frame for the maturation of Cloud based technologies (Here is the associated press release). They talk about a three phase evolution of the markets, spread all the way to 2015. They call the current phase (2007-2011) as Pioneers and Trailblazers. They call the second phase from 2010 to 2013 as Market Consolidation phase and, finally, the third phase from 2012 to 2015 as Mainstream Critical Mass and Commoditization phase.
I do agree that Cloud Computing is still in the early stages and we may as well be in the Trailblazer stage. However, I disagree with their prediction about slow movement towards maturation of the markets. I expect a much faster shift. Cloud economics is very attractive and the whole world is going through one of the most difficult economic periods. Unless the dinosaur like enterprises bring in cloud economics into their strategy real fast, there is a danger of them vanishing much like the dinosaurs themselves. I am pretty confident that the current economic climate will accelerate the Cloud adoption and market maturation will happen much sooner than the Gartner’s predictions.
I also have problem with their prediction that the concern for vendor lock-in in 2014 will force critical-mass support for open source stack in the clouds. Unlike the previous IT era, users are much smarter in not falling into the trap of proprietary technologies. Thanks to the open source movements in the last decade and more, openness is now part of the users’ psyche. It will be tough for proprietary vendors to survive in the Cloud marketplace compared to the previous era. Gartner is way off the mark in this prediction too. They are grossly underestimating the role of open stacks in this Cloud era.