There is no use denying I am a cloud computing optimist, nor is there a need to. Even if enterprises never get comfortable hosting their proprietary applications in the cloud and the infrastructure-as-a-service business model never pans out, the cloud still will exist. It will continue to be the platform for Web companies like Google and Facebook, and, more importantly for vendors, the cloud will continue to grow as the foundation for software-as-a-service (or cloud service) offerings.
Another proof point for this proposition is Derivix, who yesterday announced its cloud-based risk management application. I get the impression risk management isn’t too data-sensitive, but it definitely is business-critical and it definitely is time-sensitive. Of all the application types that won’t be hosted on the cloud, time-sensitive financial tasks, like risk management, always seems to make the list. Apparently, that doesn’t apply to accessing someone else’s application being offered as a service over the Internet.
I have no basis for making any judgment about Derivix, but I’m going to assume it has done some research and concluded that a cloud-based risk solution is will be profitable, and will be in customers’ best interests. And if trading applications can run successfully in the cloud (assuming this product does what is expected of it), why not just about everything else?
IDC says cloud services, a group that includes SaaS, will be a $42 billion industry by 2012, and this prediction seems more realistic every day (just look at the constant growth of Salesforce.com). Gartner’s Daryl Plummer (citing my coverage of Callidus’ SaaS move), is on board with the idea of a SaaS revolution, too. Again, the value proposition for users is clear, and if ISVs start building quality SaaS offerings, the market could explode – with software vendors and cloud “optimizers” (see, for example, Sonoa Systems) reaping the rewards.
I’m having fun just watching the train roll on.