Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cloud, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS Adoption Trends and Forecast

At this point it is clear that the term "Cloud" transcended the buzz word and is already the label of an attractive $100B+ market.
Cloud Computing represents the top enterprise IT spending in 2015, even beyond other hot growing technologies like Mobile and IoT. Not just that, budgets for Cloud offerings may even double in 2016.

And if we talk about the other two hot tech trends, it is not a surprise that about three quarters of the IoT and Mobile offerings have also a Cloud component.

Let me share with you my own direct experiences and my interpretation of some key Cloud Computing statistics over the last few years as well as the trends for the next two or three. In every case contrasting the numbers with qualitative data points and insights.

Let's then dissect the Cloud universe in the typical 3 tiers, starting from the bottom...

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

In 3 years IaaS will represent: ~35% of cloud use cases (compared with a ~65% of PaaS + SaaS)  

Even if the number sounds good, it may imply a small decrease or a linear growth in
comparison with the exponential growth of SaaS.

This is due to the fact that the trend is to consume more and more turn-key comprehensive SaaS solutions, rather than building in-house or managing the third-party software/infrastructure stack with all the layers from the bottom up.

Keep in mind that even though IaaS may not grow as fast as SaaS in the next few years, it remains a booming market and has a lot of headroom ahead for growth.

The field data supporting IaaS' great prospects can be found in those cases in which software build is a must over buy or when having control of the stack is essential, for those use cases the growing trend is to invest much more on public (or Hybrid) IaaS deployments rather than in traditional IT infrastructure, as these data points show:
  • Public IaaS 5-years investment growth in next 3 years: 25% to 35% CAGR
  • Traditional on-premise infrastructure growth in the next 3 years: Under 10% CAGR
Key vendors: Amazon Web Services (clear dominant force with about half of the market), Google Compute Engine, RackSpace, Microsoft Azure, NTT Data, etc.

Key drivers: Hybrid Clouds (Across Public IaaS and private data centers), OpenStack consolidating as standard for IaaS management, Docker emerging as a low footprint alternative to virtualization for app packaging and portability.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

As you may know this category has a gray overlapping area with IaaS, since several vendors offer IaaS and PaaS products that are closely interrelated.
The other factor here are the multiple flavors of PaaS offerings, such as iPaaS, dPaaS, mPaaS and others that not always can fit strictly in one of the categories.

In 3 years PaaS will represent ~15% of the overall cloud workloads.

PaaS is a fast and cost-effective answer to many dev, test, and prod use cases across market verticals and tiers. However its adoption rate is more accelerated in large companies, medium-to-large organizations, and SaaS/Mobile startups.

Despite its relatively slower adoption rate (compared to IaaS and SaaS) in its early days, PaaS has an excellent ROI and is picking up in momentum. It will keep growing very rapidly in the next 3 years:

PaaS will represent a ~10$B market by 2018 

Key vendors: Google's App Engine, Red Hat's OpenShift, Pivotal's CloudFoundry, Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk, etc.

Key drivers: Portability of application stacks in and out PaaS, Multi-cloud support, Integration with IaaS features, Full SDLC coverage, Specialized PaaS (mobile, data, etc.), More DevOps use cases.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

I still remember the high levels of hesitation that we experienced about 7 or 8 years ago in the early Cloud days when we were pitching our customers with "as-a-service" offerings.
Security, Data Privacy, and Compliance were back then (and in a lesser way still are today) the main customer fears and obstacles for cloud adoption.
The times have changed, cloud offerings are much more secure and accepted today and the levels of adoption have increased dramatically and will keep increasing.
  • Mid-Late 2000s: Only 30% of customers/opportunities/cases were receptive to Cloud offerings 
  • Mid 2010s: 66% to 75% of customers/opportunities/cases are usually receptive to Cloud 
These ratios are aligned with the statistics and trends below:

SaaS compared with traditional software:
  • 3 years ago: 30% to 40% of the business software bought was SaaS 
  • 3 years from now: 75% to 85% of business software to be purchased will be SaaS 
SaaS Market Numbers:
  • 3 years ago: Between $12B and $15B in revenue
  • 3 years from now: Between $35B and $45B in revenue
  • Business SaaS offerings are projecting a 20% to 25% 5-years CAGR.
Key Drivers: SSO and Federated Identities, Social Media support and enhancements, integration with Online Payment Services, transparent single cross-device UX, elements of IoT and Wearables synergy could be a huge differentiator in some specific business domains.

Cloud computing is here to stay, dramatically changing the landscape of the software industry and bringing concrete and tangible benefits for our lives.
Even newer hot trends such as IoT are heavily relaying on cloud technologies to deliver their promise.
It has been -and still is- very exciting to be part of this transformative movement that is shaping up the present and future of technology.


  • NetworkWorld
  • Gartner
  • Eurostat
  • Accenture
  • Forrester
  • IDC
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Computer World
  • Forbes
  • Juan Noceda's direct interactions with customers, partners, and colleagues.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wearables: The quest for the missing killer app?

I am a happy Fitbit user for more than a year and a half now, recently my family gave me a Samsung Gear S as a present, so at this point you can already subscribe me to the list of the ones who bought into the wearable computing promise, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the Internet of Everything (IoE).


I use my Fitbit band almost all the time, I also use a very often its excellent smart phone app and the linked cloud service.
I use the band/app/cloud trio mostly for everyday health tracking and casual sports. I believe that this device is a clear, simple, and pragmatic example of the the Internet of Things (IoT) potential.
Fitbit has very active community of third party developers creating even more and specialized value for Fitbit product owners, check the list of cool and useful Fitbit apps in their Partnerships page.
The FitBit's OTB mobile app is already a killer app, and many of the third party ones too, making the whole device + apps + service experience a very compelling ecosystem.

The arrival of the spectacular Samsung Gear S to my left wrist did not necessarily retire my lovely and none-intrusive Fitbit Flex (the minimalist model in the current product lineup); which has found a new comfortable home around my right wrist.

You may argue that the Gear S' rich features represents a super set of the Fitbit Flex functionality, therefore I should be replacing the previous and modest gadget with the newer a fancier one.
However I have discovered that there are different use cases for each of the wearables and I found that I have my own personal use cases for each of them, making the two wearables to coexistence in right and left hand harmony.

For instance the Gear S is a bit too delicate and somehow expensive (arguably unsafe) for playing soccer, whereas the soft and light rubber body of the Fitbit Flex is great for those 90 minutes on the pitch.
Despite its fanciness the Gear S is not the most comfortable thing when you want to track your sleep, instead, I can wear the Flex in bed without feeling that is even there.

After pondering the benefits of the minimalist Fitbit flex let's recognize that the Samsung Gear S is a much more advance device with many more capabilities and processing power. We are talking about a smart sensor with basic user feedback and connectivity in the case of the Flex band compared with a true wearable computer in the case of the Gear S.

So, here you have me, dreaming with the endless possibilities of a sensors-charged Android device around my wrist, and ready to take advantage of a world of apps that make my everyday life much more exciting and productive.

But here it comes the partial bubble busting feeling:
I am using many of the Gear S pre-installed apps and I have downloaded several others. However, beyond the usual -and useful- suspects (Time, Weather, Messages Feed, Music Playing, Step Counter, Heart Rate, Calendar, and others) I did not yet have discovered a game changing app (or set of apps) that can give a true new user experience dimension to my e-life.
These type of apps are often called Killer Apps, an app or two that are that useful that act as the catalytic factor for the adoption of a device, driving the core of the customer value and even the buying decision for the product.
I feel that I have all this tremendous hardware power in my hand, but not yet the software to harness and unleash all that potential.

Ironically, the Samsung Gear S is a phenomenal device, so the hardware is not the issue, my theory is that it is the absence of the killer app!
I recognize that many fantastic Samsung Gear S killer apps may exist out there and I did not discovered them yet. I can also see how this could be a matter of mismatch between what is out there so far and my particular needs and use cases.

I will not minimize the developer community writing Samsung Gear software, the list of apps keeps growing, I am sure that there is more out there (and more coming) beyond what I can appreciate so far in my early contact with this ecosystem, I am anxious to find out more.

In addition, when I look around and I see outside the wearables, I observe that other manifestations of the Internet of Things (IoT) are sometimes suffering a similar killer app lacking syndrome, for instance when you look at the connected home space, there already hundreds of devices and services in the market already to manage your termostat, lights, door locks, audio system, and other areas of your home from your smart phone wherever you are. While certainly cool and useful for many use cases, those capabilities are only scratching the surface on what a true IoT home could be.

The reality is that the platform for the IoT-connected home is already here today and growing, many large and small companies are working on more devices and applications to maximize the power of IoT in our homes.
Just as an example check what Wink is doing by partnering with many major connected home and IoT players.

However, when it comes to the home IoT, the same principle described before for wearables also applies here, these home gadgets need to be accompanied by on ore more killer apps, software functionality that can really deliver customer value by solving true needs or proposing better and new ways of doing our daily tasks.

Coming back to the wearables and the smart watches...
If you are a smart watch user too, Do you have the same feeling of half fulfillment?
If your are contemplating the idea of a smart watch, Are you asking yourself?: Cool, but... What will I use it For?

With the objective of finding the North in my quest for the smart watch killer app and also with the spirit of learning more about this space, I will leave my readers with the following questions:

  1. What is your your own personal experience with Samsung Gear, Apple Watch, or any other smart watches so far?
  2. Did you find a killer app for it?
  3. If so, which one/s?

Please comment on this blog post or send me a Twitter message, I would love to hear your feedback.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Juan Noceda.