The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017 provides insights gained from evaluations of more than 2,000 technologies the research and advisory firms tracks. From this large base of technologies, the technologies that show the most potential for delivering a competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years are included in the Hype Cycle.
The eight technologies added to the Hype Cycle this year include 5G, Artificial General Intelligence, Deep Learning, Deep Reinforcement Learning, Digital Twin, Edge Computing, Serverless PaaS and Cognitive Computing. Ten technologies not included in the hype cycle for 2017 include 802.11ax, Affective Computing, Context Brokering, Gesture Control Devices, Data Broker PaaS (dbrPaaS), Micro Data Centers, Natural-Language Question Answering, Personal Analytics, Smart Data Discovery and Virtual Personal Assistants.
The three most dominant trends include Artifical Intelligence (AI) Everywhere, Transparently Immersive Experiences, and Digital Platforms. Gartner believes that key platform-enabling technologies are 5G, Digital Twin, Edge Computing, Blockchain, IoT Platforms, Neuromorphic Hardware, Quantum Computing, Serverless PaaS and Software-Defined Security.
Key takeaways from this year’s Hype Cycle include the following:
- Heavy R&D spending from Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Facebook is fueling a race for Deep Learning and Machine Learning patents today and will accelerate in the future – The race is on for Intellectual Property (IP) in deep learning and machine learning today. The success of Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google’s Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and others are making this area the top priority for R&D investment by these companies today. Gartner predicts deep-learning applications and tools will be a standard component in 80% of data scientists’ tool boxes by 2018. Amazon Machine Learning is available on Amazon Web Services today, accessible here. Apple has also launched a Machine Learning Journal. Baidu Research provides a site full of useful information on their ongoing research and development as well. Google Research is one of the most comprehensive of all, with a wealth of publications and research results. IBM’s AI and Cognitive Computing site can be found here. The Facebook Research site provides a wealth of information on 11 core technologies their R&D team is working on right now. Many of these sites also list open positions on their R&D teams.
- 5G adoption in the coming decade will bring significant gains for security, scalability, and speed of global cellular networks – Gartner predicts that by 2020, 3% of network-based mobile communications service providers (CSPs) will launch 5G networks commercially. The Hype Cycle report mentions that from 2018 through 2022 organizations will most often utilize 5G to support IoT communications, high definition video and fixed wireless access. AT&T, NTT Docomo, Sprint USA, Telstra, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all announced plans to launch 5G services this year and next.
- Artificial General Intelligence is going to become pervasive during the next decade, becoming the foundation of AI as a Service – Gartner predicts that AI as a Service will be the enabling core technology that leads to the convergence of AI Everywhere, Transparently Immersive Experiences and Digital Platforms. The research firm is also predicting 4D Printing, Autonomous Vehicles, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Human Augmentation, Quantum Computing, Smart Dust and Volumetric Displays will reach mainstream adoption.
Gartner Identifies Three Megatrends That Will Drive Digital Business Into the Next Decade
Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017 (client access required)
- 81% of IT leaders are currently investing in or planning to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Cowen predicts AI will drive user productivity to materially higher levels, with Microsoft at the forefront.
- Digital Marketing/Marketing Automation, Salesforce Automation (CRM) and Data Analytics are the top three areas ripe for AI/ML adoption.
- According to angel.co, there are 2,200+ Artificial Intelligence start-ups, and well over 50% have emerged in just the last two years.
- Cowen sees Salesforce ($CRM), Adobe ($ADBE) and ServiceNow ($NOW) as well-positioned to deliver and monetize new AI-based application services.
These and many other fascinating insights are from the Cowen and Company Multi-Sector Equity Research study, Artificial Intelligence: Entering A Golden Age For Data Science (142 pp., PDF, client access reqd). The study is based on interviews with 146 leading AI researchers, entrepreneurs and VC executives globally who are involved in the field of artificial intelligence and related technologies. Please see the Appendix of the study for a thorough overview of the methodology. This study isn’t representative of global AI, data engineering and machine learning (ML) adoption trends. It does, however, provide a glimpse into the current and future direction of AI, data engineering, and machine learning. Cowen finds the market is still nascent, with CIOs eager to invest in new AI-related initiatives. Time-to-market, customer messaging, product positioning and the value proposition of AI solutions will be critical factors for winning over new project investments.
Key takeaways from the study include the following:
- Digital Marketing/Marketing Automation, Salesforce Automation (CRM) and Data Analytics are the top three areas ripe for AI/ML adoption. Customer self-service, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Resource Management (HRM) and E-Commerce are additional areas that have upside potential for AI/ML adoption. The following graphic provides an overview of the areas in software that Cowen found the greater potential for AI/ML investment.
- 81% of IT leaders are currently investing in or planning to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Based on the study, CIOs have a new mandate to integrate AI into IT technology stacks. The study found that 43% are evaluating and doing a Proof of Concept (POC) and 38% are already live and planning to invest more. The following graphic provides an overview of company readiness for machine learning and AI projects.
- Market forecasts vary, but all consistently predict explosive growth. IDC predicts that the Cognitive Systems and AI market (including hardware & services) will grow from $8B in 2016 to $47B in 2020, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 55%. This forecast includes $18B in software applications, $5B in software platforms, and $24B in services and hardware. IBM claims that Cognitive Computing is a $2T market, including $200B in healthcare/life sciences alone. Tractica forecasts direct and indirect applications of AI software to grow from $1.4B in 2016 to $59.8B by 2025, a 52% CAGR.
- According to CBInsights, the number of financing transactions to AI start-ups increased 10x over the last six years, from 67 in 2011 to 698 in 2016. Accenture states that the total number of AI start-ups has increased 20-fold since 2011. The top verticals include FinTech, Healthcare, Transportation and Retail/e-Commerce. The following graphic provides an overview of the AI annual funding history from 2011 to 2016.
- Algorithmic trading, image recognition/tagging, and patient data processing are predicted to the b top AI uses cases by 2025. Tractica forecasts predictive maintenance and content distribution on social media will be the fourth and fifth highest revenue producing AI uses cases over the next eight years. The following graphic compares the top 10 uses cases by projected global revenue.
- Machine Learning is predicted to generate the most revenue and is attracting the most venture capital investment in all areas of AI. Venture Scanner found that ML raised $3.5B to date (from 400+ companies), far ahead of the next category, Natural Language Processing, which has seen just over $1Bn raised to date (from 200+ companies). Venture Scanner believes that Machine Learning Applications and Machine Learning Platforms are two relatively early stage markets that stand to have some of the greatest market disruptions.
- Cowen predicts that an Intelligent App Stack will gain rapid adoption in enterprises as IT departments shift from system-of-record to system-of-intelligence apps, platforms, and priorities. The future of enterprise software is being defined by increasingly intelligent applications today, and this will accelerate in the future. Cowen predicts it will be commonplace for enterprise apps to have machine learning algorithms that can provide predictive insights across a broad base of scenarios encompassing a company’s entire value chain. The potential exists for enterprise apps to change selling and buying behavior, tailoring specific responses based on real-time data to optimize discounting, pricing, proposal and quoting decisions.
- According to angel.co, there are 2,200+ Artificial Intelligence start-ups, and well over 50% have emerged in just the last two years. Machine Learning-based Applications and Deep Learning Neural Networks are experiencing the largest and widest amount of investment attention in the enterprise.
- Accenture leverages machine learning in 40% of active Analytics engagements, and nearly 80% of proposed Analytics opportunities today. Cowen found that Accenture’s view is that they are in the early stages of AI technology adoption with their enterprise clients. Accenture sees the AI market growing exponentially, reaching $400B in spending by 2020. Their customers have moved on from piloting and testing AI to reinventing their business strategies and models.
- Public Cloud spending is predicted to grow at quickly, attaining 16% year-over-year growth in 2017.
- Cowen’s AWS segment model is predicting Revenue and EBITDA to grow 25% and 26.8% annually from 2017 to 2022.
- Microsoft Azure is viewed as the platform that customers would most likely purchase or renew going forward (28% of total vs. AWS at 22%, GCP at 15%, and IBM at 10%).
These and many other fascinating insights are from Cowen’s study published this week, Public Cloud V: AWS And Azure Still Leading The Pack (58 pp., PDF, client access reqd.). Cowen partnered with Altman Vilandrie & Company to complete the study. The study relies on a survey sample of 551 respondents distributed across small, medium and enterprises who are using Public Cloud platforms and services today. For purposes of the survey, small businesses have less than 500 employees, medium-sized businesses as 500 to 4,999 employees, and enterprises as more than 5,000 employees. The study provides insight on a range of topics including cloud spending trends, workload migration dynamics, and vendor positioning. Please see pages 5,6 & 7 for additional details regarding the methodology.
The more AWS and Azure compete to win customers, the greater the innovation and growth in public cloud adoption as the following key takeaways illustrate:
- Existing Public Cloud customers predict spending will grow 16% year-over-year in 2017. Existing mid-market Public Cloud customers predict spending will increase 18% this year. SMBs who have already adopted Public Cloud predict a 17% increase in spending in 2017, and enterprises, 13%. Public Cloud providers are the most successful upselling and cross-selling mid-market companies this year as many are relying on the cloud to scale their global operations to support growth.
- AWS dominates awareness levels with SMBs who have existing Public Cloud deployments, with Microsoft Azure the most known and considered in enterprises. Consistent with many other surveys of Public Cloud adoption, IBM SoftLayer scored better in enterprises than any other segment including SMBs (71% vs. 58%). Google Cloud Platform has its strongest awareness levels in SMBs, attributable to the adoption of their many cloud-based applications in this market segment. They trail AWS, Azure, and SoftLayer in the enterprise, however. Across all existing companies who have adopted Public Cloud, the majority are most aware of AWS and Microsoft Azure. The second graphic provides an overview of awareness across the entire respondent base.
- Microsoft is the most-used Public Cloud and the most likely to be purchased or renewed by 28% of all respondents. While AWS is the most reviewed Public Cloud across all respondents, Microsoft Azure is the most used. When asked which Public Cloud provider they are likely to purchase or renew, the majority of respondents said Microsoft Azure (28%), followed by AWS (22%), Google Cloud Platform (15%) and IBM SoftLayer (10%). The following graphic compares awareness, reviewed and use levels by Public Cloud platform.
- Only 37% of current Azure users expect to add or replace their Public Cloud provider, compared to 53% of current AWS users and 50% of GCP users. The study found that approximately 40% of respondents expect to add or replace their cloud provider in the next two years, compared to 43% who predicted that last year. Companies who have adopted Microsoft Azure are least likely to replace/add other vendors, as only 37% of current Azure users expect to add or replace, compared to 53% of current AWS users and 50% of GCP users.
- AWS and Azure dominate all seven facets of user experience included in the survey. AWS has the best User Interface, API Complexity, and Reporting & Billing. Microsoft Azure leads all Public Cloud providers globally in the areas of Management & Monitoring, Software & Data Integration, Technical Support and Training & Google Cloud Platform is 3rd on all seven facts of user experience.
- 18% of workloads are supported by Public Cloud today with SMBs and mid-market companies slightly leading enterprises (16%). Overall, 38% of all workloads are supported with on-premise infrastructure and platforms, increasing to 43% for enterprises. The following graphic illustrates the percentage of workloads supported by each infrastructure type.
- 77% of existing Public Cloud adopters are either likely or very likely to add a SaaS workload in the next two years, led by mid-market companies (81%). SMBs (76%) and enterprises (73%) are also likely/very likely to add SaaS workloads in the next two years. The majority of these new SaaS workloads will be in the areas of Testing & Development, Web Hosting, and e-mail and communications.
- Cowen’s AWS segment model is predicting Revenue and EBITDA to have a five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25% and 26.8% from 2017 to 2022. AWS Net Income is predicted to increase from $2.7B in 2017 to $8.2B in 2022, attaining a projected 24.5% CAGR from 2017 to 2022. Revenue is predicted to soar from an estimated $16.8B in 2017 to $51.5B in 2022, driving a 25% CAGR in the forecast period.
Cloud platforms are enabling new, complex business models and orchestrating more globally-based integration networks in 2017 than many analyst and advisory firms predicted. Combined with Cloud Services adoption increasing in the mid-tier and small & medium businesses (SMB), leading researchers including Forrester are adjusting their forecasts upward. The best check of any forecast is revenue. Amazon’s latest quarterly results released two days ago show Amazon Web Services (AWS) attained 43% year-over-year growth, contributing 10% of consolidated revenue and 89% of consolidated operating income.
Additional key takeaways from the roundup include the following:
- Wikibon is predicting enterprise cloud spending is growing at a 16% compound annual growth (CAGR) run rate between 2016 and 2026. The research firm also predicts that by 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will reach $43B in revenue, and be 8.2% of all cloud spending. Source: Wikibon report preview: How big can Amazon Web Services get?
Wikibon Worldwide Enterprise IT Projection By Vendor Revenue
Rapid Growth of Cloud Computing, 2015–2020
Worldwide Public Cloud Services Forecast (Millions of Dollars)
- By the end of 2018, spending on IT-as-a-Service for data centers, software and services will be $547B. Deloitte Global predicts that procurement of IT technologies will accelerate in the next 2.5 years from $361B to $547B. At this pace, IT-as-a-Service will represent more than half of IT spending by the 2021/2022 timeframe. Source: Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions, 2017 (PDF, 80 pp., no opt-in).
Deloitte IT-as-a-Service Forecast
- Total spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switches) for deployment in cloud environments will increase 15.3% year over year in 2017 to $41.7B. IDC predicts that public cloud data centers will account for the majority of this spending ( 60.5%) while off-premises private cloud environments will represent 14.9% of spending. On-premises private clouds will account for 62.3% of spending on private cloud IT infrastructure and will grow 13.1% year over year in 2017. Source: Spending on IT Infrastructure for Public Cloud Deployments Will Return to Double-Digit Growth in 2017, According to IDC.
Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Market Forecast
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) adoption is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms according to KPMG, growing from 32% in 2017 to 56% adoption in 2020. Results from the 2016 Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey indicate that cloud adoption is now mainstream and accelerating as enterprises shift data-intensive operations to the cloud. Source: Journey to the Cloud, The Creative CIO Agenda, KPMG (PDF, no opt-in, 14 pp.)
Cloud investment by type today and in three years
AWS Segment Financial Comparison
- In Q1, 2017 AWS generated 10% of consolidated revenue and 89% of consolidated operating income. Net sales increased 23% to $35.7 billion in the first quarter, compared with $29.1 billion in first quarter 2016. Source: Cloud Business Drives Amazon’s Profits.
Comparing AWS’ Revenue and Income Contributions
- RightScale’s 2017 survey found that Microsoft Azure adoption surged from 26% to 43% with AWS adoption increasing from 56% to 59%. Overall Azure adoption grew from 20% to 34% percent of respondents to reduce the AWS lead, with Azure now reaching 60% of the market penetration of AWS. Google also increased adoption from 10% to 15%. AWS continues to lead in public cloud adoption (57% of respondents currently run applications in AWS), this number has stayed flat since both 2016 and 2015. Source: RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report (PDF, 38 pp., no opt-in)
Public Cloud Adoption, 2017 versus 2016
- Global Cloud IT market revenue is predicted to increase from $180B in 2015 to $390B in 2020, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17%. In the same period, SaaS-based apps are predicted to grow at an 18% CAGR, and IaaS/PaaS is predicted to increase at a 27% CAGR. Source: Bain & Company research brief The Changing Faces of the Cloud (PDF, no opt-in).
60% of IT Market Growth Is Being Driven By The Cloud
- 74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) say cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business in 2017. Additional technologies that will have a significant financial impact in 2017 include the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI) (16%) and 3D printing and virtual reality (14% each). Source: 2017 BDO Technology Outlook Survey (PDF), no opt-in).
CFOs say cloud investments deliver the greatest measurable impact
Cloud investments are fueling new job throughout Canada
- APIs are enabling persona-based user experiences in a diverse base of cloud enterprise As of today there are 17,422 APIs listed on the Programmable Web, with many enterprise cloud apps concentrating on subscription, distributed order management, and pricing workflows. Sources: Bessemer Venture Partners State of the Cloud 2017 and 2017 Is Quickly Becoming The Year Of The API Economy. The following graphic from the latest Bessemer Venture Partners report illustrates how APIs are now the background of enterprise software.
APIs are fueling a revolution in cloud enterprise apps
- By 2018, at least half of IT spending will be Cloud-based, reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure, and 60–70% of all Software, Services, and Technology Spending by 2020. IDC also predicts that by 2018, Cloud will also be the preferred delivery mechanism for analytics. Source: IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Cloud 2016 Predictions; Mastering the Raw Material of Digital Transformation (PDF, no opt-in).
- Public cloud platforms, business services, and applications (software-as-a-service [SaaS]) will grow at a 22% CAGR between 2015 and 2020, reaching $236B. Cloud platform revenues, whose 2020 total of $64B will be 45% higher than Forrester projected two years ago. The much larger cloud application market will also grow faster, with the 2020 total of $155B being 17% higher than their 2014 projection. Source: The Public Cloud Services Market Will Grow Rapidly To $236 Billion In 2020.
- Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Spend Grew 9.2% to $32.6B in 2016. Cloud IT infrastructure sales as a share of overall worldwide IT spending climbed to 37.2% in 4Q16, up from 33.4% a year ago. Cloud IT infrastructure sales grew fastest in Japan at 42.3% year over year in 4Q16. Source: Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Spend Grew 9.2% to $32.6 Billion in 2016, According to IDC.
- 451 Research: China and India emerging as cloud computing powerhouses in Asia-Pacific (PDF, no opt-in)
- An Overview of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework, Version 2, Feb. 2017 (PDF)
- Bessemer Venture Partners State of the Cloud 2017.
- Gartner Says Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market to Grow 17 Percent in 2016
- Health IT and the Cloud, 2017 (infographic, PDF)
- How the Microsoft Ecosystem and Cloud Computing Will Create 110,000 New Jobs in Canada from 2015 to 2020 (PDF, no opt-in)
- Hybrid Cloud: The New Standard for Delivery of Digital Transformation
- IDC’s Latest CloudView Multiclient Study Reveals Attitudes and Strategies of the 58% of Organizations Embracing Cloud
- Journey to the Cloud, The Creative CIO Agenda, KPMG (PDF, no opt-in, 14 pp.)
- RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report (PDF, 38 pp., no opt-in)
- Spending on IT Infrastructure for Public Cloud Deployments Will Return to Double-Digit Growth in 2017, According to IDC.
- Survey: 93% of Organizations Use Cloud-based IT Services
- The Forrester Wave™: Global Public Cloud Platforms For Enterprise Developers, Q3 2016 (PDF, 17 pp., no opt-in, courtesy of Microsoft)
- The Salesforce Economy: Enabling 1.9 Million New Jobs and $389 Billion in New Revenue Over the Next Five Years, IDC. (PDF, no opt-in)
- Why Custom Apps Grew $100B In The Last 5 Years
- Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Spend Grows 23.0% to $7.6 Billion in the Third Quarter, According to IDC
- Worldwide Competitive Public Cloud PaaS Forecast, 2015–2019.
- 451 Research predicts critical enterprise workload categories including data, analytics, and business applications will more than double from 7% to 16% for data workloads and 4% to 9% for business applications.
- Cloud-first workload deployments in enterprises are becoming more common with 38% of respondents to a recent 451Research survey stating their enterprises are prioritizing cloud over on-premise.
451 Research’s latest study of cloud computing adoption in the enterprise, The Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation – Workloads and Key Projects provides insights into how enterprises are changing their adoption of public, private and hybrid cloud for specific workloads and applications. The research was conducted in May and June 2016 with more than 1,200 IT professionals worldwide. The study illustrates how quickly enterprises are adopting cloud-first deployment strategies to accelerate time-to-market of new apps while reducing IT costs and launch new business models that are by nature cloud-intensive. Add to this the need all enterprises have to forecast and track cloud usage, costs and virtual machine (VM) usage and value, and it becomes clear why Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are now leaders in the enterprise. The following graphic from Synergy Research Group’s latest study of the Cloud Infrastructure Services provides a comparison of AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google, and others.
Seven Ways Microsoft Is Redefining Azure For The Enterprise
Being able to innovate faster by building, deploying and managing applications globally on a single cloud platform is what many enterprises are after today. And with over 100 potential apps on their cloud roadmaps, development teams are evaluating cloud platforms based on their potential contributions to new app development and business models first.
AWS and Microsoft Azure haven proven their ability to support new app development and deployment and are the two most-evaluated cloud platforms with dev teams I’ve talked with today. Of the two, Microsoft Azure is gaining momentum in the enterprise.
Here are the seven ways Microsoft is making this happen:
- Re-orienting Microsoft Azure Cloud Services strategies so enterprise accounts can be collaborators in new app creation. Only Microsoft is coming at selling Cloud Services in the enterprise from the standpoint of how they can help do what senior management teams at their customers want most, which is make their app roadmap a reality. AWS is excellent at ISV and developer support, setting a standard in this area.
- Giving enterprises the option of using existing relational SQL databases, noSQL data stores, and analytics services when building new cloud apps. All four dominant cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM) support architectures, frameworks, tools and programming languages that enable varying levels of compatibility with databases, data stores, and analytics. Enterprises that have a significant amount of their legacy app inventory in .NET are choosing Azure for cloud app development. Microsoft’s support for Node.js, PHP, Python and other development languages is at parity with other cloud platforms. Why Microsoft Azure is winning in this area is the designed-in support for legacy Microsoft architectures that enterprises standardized their IT infrastructure on years before. Microsoft is selling a migration strategy here and is providing the APIs, web services, and programming tools to enable enterprises to deliver cloud app roadmaps faster as a result. Like AWS, Microsoft also has created a global development community that is developing and launching apps specifically aimed at enterprise cloud migration. Due to all of these factors, both AWS and Microsoft are often considered more open cloud platforms by enterprises than others. In contrast, Salesforce platforms are becoming viewed as proprietary, charging premium prices at renewal time. An example of this strategy is the extra 20% Salesforce charges for Lightning experience at renewal time according to Gartner in their recent report, Salesforce Lightning Sales Cloud and Service Cloud Unilaterally Replaced Older Editions; Negotiate Now to Avoid Price Increases and Shelfware Published 31 May 2016, written by analysts Jo Liversidge, Adnan Zijadic.
- Simplifying cloud usage monitoring, consolidated views of cloud fees and costs including cost predictions and working with enterprises to create greater cloud standardization and automation. AWS’ extensive partner community has solutions that address each of these areas, and AWS’ roadmap reflects this is a core focus of current and future development. The AWS platform has standardization and automation as design objectives for the platform. Enterprises evaluating Azure are running pilots to test the Azure Usage API, which allows subscribing services to pull usage data. This API supports reporting to the hourly level, resource metadata information, and supports Showback and Chargeback models. Azure deployments in production and pilots I’ve seen are using the API to build web services and dashboards to measure and predict usage and costs.
- Openly addressing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) concerns and providing APIs and Web services to avoid vendor lock-in. The question of data independence and TCO dominates sustainability and expansion of all cloud decisions. From the CIOs, CFOs and design teams I’ve spoken with, Microsoft and Amazon are providing enterprises assistance in defining long-term cost models and are willing to pass along the savings from economies of scale achieved on their platforms. Microsoft Azure is also accelerating in the enterprise due to the pervasive adoption of the many cloud-based subscriptions of Office365, which enables enterprises to begin moving their workloads to the cloud.
- Having customer, channel, and services all on a single, unified global platform to gain greater insights into customers and deliver new apps faster. Without exception, every enterprise I’ve spoken with regarding their cloud platform strategy has multichannel and omnichannel apps on their roadmap. Streamlining and simplifying the customer experience and providing them with real-time responsiveness drive the use cases of the new apps under development today. Salesforce has been successful using their platform to replace legacy CRM systems and build the largest community of CRM and sell-side partners globally today.
- Enabling enterprise cloud platforms and apps to globally scale. Nearly every enterprise looking at cloud initiatives today needs a global strategy and scale. From a leading telecom provider based in Russia looking to scale throughout Asia to financial services firms in London looking to address Brexit issues, each of these firms’ cloud apps roadmaps is based on global scalability and regional requirements. Microsoft has 108 data centers globally, and AWS operates 35 Availability Zones within 13 geographic Regions around the world, with 9 more Availability Zones and 4 more Regions coming online throughout the next year. To expand globally, Salesforce chose AWS as their preferred cloud infrastructure provider. Salesforce is not putting their IOT and earlier Heroku apps on Amazon. Salesforces’ decision to standardize on AWS for global expansion and Microsoft’s globally distributed data centers show that these two platforms have achieved global scale.
- Enterprises are demanding more control over their security infrastructure, network, data protection, identity and access control strategies, and are looking for cloud platforms that provide that flexibility. Designing, deploying and maintaining enterprise cloud security models is one of the most challenging aspects of standardizing on a cloud platform. AWS, Azure, Google and IBM all are prioritizing research and development (R&D) spending in this area. Of the enterprises I’ve spoken with, there is an urgent need for being able to securely connect virtual machines (VMs) within a cloud instance to on-premise data centers. AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM can all protect VMs and their network traffic from on-premise to cloud locations. AWS and Azure are competitive to the other two cloud platforms in this area and have enterprises running millions of VMs concurrently in this configuration and often use that as a proof point to new customers evaluating their platforms.
Bottom line: Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are the first cloud platforms proving they can scale globally to support enterprises’ vision of world-class cloud app portfolio development.
451 Research: The Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation – Workloads and Key Projects
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide 2016 Reprint
Microsoft Earnings Release FY16 Q4 – Azure revenue grows 102% year-over-year
Synergy Research Group’s latest study of the Cloud Infrastructure Services
- AWS is now approximately 6x the size of Microsoft Azure globally according to Deutsche Bank.
These and other insights are from the research note published earlier this month by Deutsche Bank Markets Research titled AWS/Cloud Adoption in Europe and the Brexit Impact written by Karl Keirstead, Alex Tout, Ross Sandler, Taylor McGinnis and Jobin Mathew. The research note is based on discussions the research team had with 20 Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers and partners at the recent AWS user conference held in London earlier this month, combined with their accumulated research on public cloud adoption globally.
These are the five ways Brexit will accelerate AWS and public cloud adoption:
- The proliferation of European-based data centers is bringing public cloud stability to regions experiencing political instability. AWS currently has active regions in Dublin and Frankfurt, with the former often being used by AWS’ European customers due to the broader base of services offered there. An AWS Region is a physical geographic location where there is a cluster of data centers. Each region is made up of isolated locations known as availability zones. AWS is adding a third European Union (EU) region in the UK with a go-live date of late 2016 or early 2017. Microsoft has 2 of its 26 global regions in Europe, with two more planned in the UK. Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP) has just one region active in Europe. The following Data Center Map provides an overview of data centers AWS, Microsoft Azure and GCP have in Europe today and planned for the future.
- Brexit is making data sovereignty king. European-based enterprises have long been cautious about using cloud platforms to store their many forms of data. Brexit is accelerating the needs European enterprises have for greater control over their data, especially those based in the UK. Amazon’s planned third EU region based in London scheduled to go live in late 2016 or early 2017 is well-timed to capitalize on this trend.
- Up-front costs of utilizing AWS are much lower and increasingly trusted relative to more expensive on-premise IT platforms. Brexit is having the immediate effect of slowing down sales cycles for managed hosting, enterprise-wide hardware and software maintenance agreements. The research team found that the uncertainty of just how significant the economic impact Brexit will have on the European economies is making companies tighten capital expense (CAPEX) budgets and trim expensive maintenance agreements. UK enterprises are reverting to OPEX spending that is already budgeted.
- CEOs are pushing CIOs to get out of high-cost hardware and on-premise software agreements to better predict operating costs faster thanks to Brexit. The continual pressure on CIOs to reduce the high hardware and software maintenance costs is accelerating thanks to Brexit. Because no one can quantify with precision just how Brexit will impact European economies, CEOs, and senior management teams want to minimize downside risk now. Because of this, the cloud is becoming a more viable option according to Deutsche Bank. One reseller said that public cloud computing platforms are a great answer to a recession, and their clients see Brexit as a catalyst to move more workloads to the cloud.
- Brexit will impact AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) revenues, forcing a greater focus on incentives for low-end and mid-tier services. Deutsche Bank Markets Research team reports that AWS has this special program in place for its very largest customers. Under an EDP, AWS will give price discounts to large customers that commit to a full year (or more) and pay upfront, in many cases with minimum volume increases. One AWS partner told Deutsche Bank that they’re aware of one EDP payment of $25 million. In the event of a recession in Europe, it’s possible that such payments could be at risk. These market dynamics will drive AWS to promote further low- and mid-tier services to attract new business to balance out these larger deals.
- Channel sales and inside sales strategies delivered the highest revenue growth rates in 2014.
- Companies in the $5M – $7.5M range achieved 70% revenue growth in 2014, surpassing the median 36% growth rate last year.
These and many other insights are from the 2015 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey published by David Skok of Matrix Partners in collaboration with Pacific Crest Securities. You can download a free copy of Part I of the study here (PDF, opt-in, 72 pp). 305 SaaS companies were interviewed, 31% from international locations and 69% from North America. David Skok and Pacific Crest Securities will publish Part 2 of the results in the near future. SaaS Metrics 2.0 – Detailed Definitions provides a useful reference for many of the SaaS metrics mentioned in the study.
This year’s survey attracted an eclectic base of respondents, with median revenues of $4M a year, with 133 companies reporting less than $5M, and 57 over $25M. Annual Contract Value (ACV) across all respondents is $21K, with 17% of respondents reporting ACVs over $100K. Please see pages 3 & 4 of the study for a description of the methodology. Key take-aways from the study include the following:
- SaaS GAAP revenue growth is accelerating in 2014 and is projected to increase further in 2015 from 44% to 46%. Median revenue growth in 2014 for all survey respondents was 44%, with the aggregate projected growth for 2015 reaching 46%. When SaaS companies with less than $2.5M in revenues are excluded, median GAAP growth was 35% in 2014 and is expected to reach that same level in 2015.
- SaaS companies with mixed customer strategies are growing at 57% a year. Excluding respondent companies with less than $2.5M in revenues, a mixed customer strategy dominates all others. Concentrating on enterprises and small & medium businesses (SMBs) both drove 33% revenue growth of respondent companies this year.
- 40% of SaaS companies are using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver their apps today. AWS is projected to increase to 44% three years from now, with Microsoft Azure increasing from 3% today to 6% in 3 years.
- 41% of all SaaS companies surveyed rely primarily on field sales. Factoring out the companies with less than $2.5M in revenue, field sales accounts for 32%.
- Field sales dominates as the most effective sales strategy when median deal sizes are $50K or more. In contrast, inside sales dominates $5K to $15K deal sizes, and the Internet dominates deal sizes less than $1K. The following graphic provides insights into the primary mode of sales by median initial contract size.
- 16% of new Average Contract Value (ACV) sales is from upsells, with the largest companies being the most effective at this selling strategy. One of the strongest catalysts of a SaaS companies’ growth is the ability to upsell customers to a higher ACV, generating significantly greater gross margin in the process. SaaS companies with revenues between $40M to $75M increase their ACV by 32% using upsells. Larger SaaS companies with over $75M in sales generate 28% additional ACV with upsell strategies.
- The highest growth SaaS companies are relying on upsells to fuel higher ACV. There is a significant difference between the highest and lowest growth SaaS companies when it comes to upsell expertise and execution. The following graphic provides an overview by 2014 GAAP revenue category of percent of ACV attributable to upsells.
- 60% are driving revenues with “Try Before You Buy” strategies, with 30% generating the majority of their revenues using this approach. On contrast, only 30% of companies generate revenues and ACV from freemium.
2014 continues to be a year marked by the accelerating hiring cycles across nearly all cloud computing companies.
Signing bonuses of $3K to $5K for senior engineers and system design specialists are becoming common, and the cycles from screening to interviews to offers is shortening. The job market in the cloud computing industry is leaning in favor of applicants who have a strong IT background in systems integration, legacy IT expertise, business analysis and in many positions, programming as well.
One of the most common questions and requests I receive from readers is who the best companies are to work for. I’ve put together the following analysis based on the latest Computer Reseller News list The 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors Of 2014.
Using the CRN list as a baseline to compare the Glassdoor.com scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO, the following analysis was completed. You can find the original data here . There are many companies listed on the CRN list that don’t have than many or any entries on Glassdoor and they were excluded from the rankings below. You can find companies excluded here. If the image below is not visible in your browser, you can view the rankings here.
The highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor as of February 23rd include the following:
- Jeremy Roche of FinancialForce.com (100%)
- Robert Reid, Intacct (100%)
- Randy Bias, Cloudscaling (100%)
- Sridhar Vembu, Zoho (98%)
- James M. Whitehurst, Red Hat (96%)
- Christian Chabot, Tableau Software (95%)
- Aneel Bhusri, Workday (94%)
- Bill McDermott & Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP (93%)
- Marc Benioff, Salesforce (93%)
- David Friend, Carbonite (93%)
Alan Kay’s saying that the best way to predict the future is to create it resonates through the best cloud computing and enterprise software predictions for 2014. Constraints that held start-ups back from delivering sophisticated new apps and services are disappearing fast. The dynamics of one of my favorite books, The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, are in full force across the cloud and enterprise landscape.
There are many predictions being generated right now and instead of writing yet another set, I’m providing a listing of those that are the most interesting and thought-provoking. They are listed below:
- 10 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2014 – In-depth analysis of ten predictions including how more companies will realize they are really in the software business, private cloud computing having a moment of truth and continued adoption of cloud brokerages. This set of predictions is an interesting read and provides useful insight. I’d just add that as application developers go, so goes an industry, a point Bernard Golden refers to in this post.
- Analytics Eats the World in 2014 – George Mathew of Alteryx is one of the most driven people I’ve ever met about analytics programming and development. He’s very focused on breaking down constraints that hold analysts back from getting more value from their data. His predictions provide insight into how business analysts’ roles are changing based on rapid advances in analytics app development, model development and use.
- Changing Cloud Scapes in 2014 – Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies provides ten insightful predictions regarding the continued adoption of cloud computing platforms in the enterprise. His fourth prediction, “Although horizontal cloud solutions will continue to experience significant growth, vertical market solutions aimed at specific industries will grow even more rapidly” is starting to emerge today. The recent success of Veeva Systems supports his prediction and points to next year seeing more vertical market solutions being successfully launched.
- Cloud computing experts forecast the market climate in 2014 – Excellent summary of seven cloud computer experts’ predictions for 2014 including Mark Eisenberg, Roger Jennings, Paul Korzeniowski, David S. Linthicum, Tom Nolle, Dan Sullivan and Mark Szynaka. Highlights include IDC analysts predicting the “Over the 2013 to 2017 forecast period, public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of 23.5%, five times that of the IT industry as a whole,” and PaaS will lead IaaS and SaaS with a CAGR of 29.7%. What’s useful about these set of predictions is the breadth of expertise reflected in market statistics, market and technology projections and insights shared.
- My One Big Fat Cloud Computing Prediction for 2014 – I have been following the industry analysis, writing and research of Joe McKendrick for years based on the excellent insight he provides. Joe predicts that cloud computing is set to become mainstream computing, period. He cites Cisco’s research showing the majority of data center will be cloud-based and shares his perspective of the market. Joe has an innate sense of how enterprises adopt and use technology and this post reflects that expertise.
- SaaS predictions for 2014 – Chris Kanaracus is predicting that multitenancy will fade away as a major concern in SaaS, geographic depth of coverage will accelerate with cloud vendors announcing new data center openings around the world, and more vertical market adoption of SaaS. He also prefaces his predictions with the Gartner forecast for SaaS (software as a service) quoting their figures of the total market will toping $22 billion through 2015, up from more than $14 billion in 2012.
- Top Predictions about Software Companies in 2014 – In-depth analysis and predictions of which companies are going to be the most interesting to watch in 2014 and predictions regarding the enterprise software landscape. This post provides a great overview of how industry veterans see enterprise software changing as a result of cloud computing as well.
- Troubling, Challenging 2014 ERP Predictions – Brian Sommer’s predictions are the most thought-provoking and honest of any written so far this year. He writes “for an ERP vendor to sell CX (customer experience) software and then mistreat their own customers so badly is more than ironic (or moronic). It’s a death wish. Yet, it happens.” If there is only one set of predictions you read from this list, be sure to read this set.
- What Should CMOs Do In 2014? IDC’s Top Ten Predictions – Gil Press provides in-depth analysis of IDC’s predictions of how the role of CMO will change in 2014. He’s summarized the key points of the recent webinar including market forecasts from IDC, providing his insight and expertise in this post. IDC is predicting that digital marketing investment will exceed 50% of total program budget by 2016, up from 39% in 2013 and that by the end of 2014, 60% of CMOs will have a formal recruiting process for marketers with data skills.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Bewley and Rachel Ceccarelli of Dice.com regarding the trends they are seeing in cloud computing recruiters’ searched-for terms on their sites. They’re seeing exponential growth in cloud computing-related job listings today and provided an analysis of the top ten cloud computing skills recruiters are searching for.
From just 13 cloud computing-related jobs listed in May, 2008, their site has over 5,000 today. The following graphic shows the growth in cloud computing job listings on their site over time.
The following are the top ten cloud computing skills searched for on Dice.com as of today:
- Linux operating system
- Chef – The open-source systems management and cloud infrastructure automation framework
- Puppet – IT automation software that helps system administrators manage infrastructure throughout its lifecycle, from provisioning and configuration to orchestration and reporting
- Cloud, Legacy System and IT Consulting
- SaaS Programming – Java is the number one search term on the Dice.com site and is a common programming language cited in these searches.
- Shell scripting
- Ruby on Rails
Getting A 360-Degree View Of Potential Candidates
They also demonstrated Open Web, a unique new web application in beta right now that has the ability to aggregate all social networks, keywords, and published experience of technical professionals. The accuracy and speed of Open Web is impressive; it’s been in beta since January and responds like a production-ready app. Jennifer and Rachel mentioned that recruiters using Open Web today are seeing 30% response rates to their queries to in-demand technical professionals.
What’s unique about Open Web is that it provides a 360-degree view of potential candidates, including all social media they participate in, in addition to discussion boards and favorited or liked sites on Facebook. The following is what Open Web looks like today:
Bottom line: Recruiting analytics and tools online are accelerating quickly, making it possible for companies searching for cloud computing talent to find it quicker than ever before. For those searching for a job in the field, making every aspect of your online presence reflect cloud computing expertise can make you stand out in recruiter’s searches.
Note: Dice.com isn’t now and has never been a client. I chose to write this post to serve readers who frequently ask me to research hiring trends in cloud computing.