Research group IDC has completed a recent assessment of the Western European software market, concluding that 2011 is going to mark the great shift from on-premises software to software-as-a-service (SaaS) models.
While this is not to say that the year will usher in the death of on-site software by any means, the predicted growth of that versus cloud-based solutions does represent a rather remarkable divergence. IDC has estimated that over the course of the next several months on-premises software growth will only see 2% growth whereas hosted software will expand to reach almost 50% growth.
The report plays on the metaphor of a leopard changing its spots, which questions whether or not software vendors will be able to shed (or at least significantly scale back) on traditional software delivery methods in favor of cloud-based services. After all, this will mean a number of disruptive changes for any software company, from licensing models to growing comfortable with the technology behind delivering secure, functional services in the cloud—neither of which are simple tasks.
As Datacenter Dynamics reported on the findings, “among a ten-point list of cloud predictions, IDC says the move to SaaS will turn IT directors into process and procurement managers. Cloud governance will grow in importance but won’t impede growth, and cloud security will break down more barriers than expected.”