Cloud, Are we there yet?

The Washington Post recently ran an article by By Andrea Peterson on RIM (now BlackBerry), with a chart they called ”The decline of blackberry in one chart“. But more than the story of BlackBerry this chart rang home for me the enormous dynamics of a relative new industry.

As their chart showed the 4 mobile vendors that together had about hundred percent market share in 2005 barely managed to hold on to 20% by 2013. In only 8 years they went from hero to zero, and were replaced by platforms that were introduced in 2007 (Apple) and 2009 (Android). I don’t cover mobile platforms so see this data mainly as a consumer, but it did make me wonder about the cloud market.

The mobile market in 2005 was by no stretch of imagination a startup market, I was on my third cellphone, after having enjoyed a car bound phone (car bound because it took up about half the boot) for about 4 years. The vendors were established, companies were handing out cellphones to most of their road warriors. Something that actually started in Europe – my US colleagues initially were juggling company provided calling cards and dialing codes – but by 2005 this was pretty much a global movement. A movement that felt more mature, established and business as usual as today’s cloud market.

And see below what happened then. So a good question to ask (and an interesting debate to have) is where the cloud market is today. And the cloud market off course is not a homogeneous market. It becomes even more interesting if we ask the question for SaaS, for IaaS and for PaaS. What is the probability of today’s leading cloud vendors becoming tomorrow’s cloud market gorilla’s?

Yes, the end of the year is slowly nearing (with fall up upon us and the shortest day already behind us), so time to start reflecting on the future. Have a look at the graph, but do remember that the chart shows relative share. If the chart would show absolute market size ift would have the shape of a cone and the leaders of 2005 would be mere rounding errors by 2013 (just like total cloud spend today only is about 5% of today’s overall enterprise IT market?).

Interested in your thoughts, please let me know via the comments.

PS For a behind the scenes view on Blackberry see this long form article from the Canadian Globe and Mail: “Inside the Fall of Blackberry

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