2016 will be the Year that People Finally Stop Immediately Associating Cloud with IaaS

Article written by Leo Reiter

Before I look into the proverbial crystal ball again, let's see how I did on my 2015 prediction, which was: 2015 will be the year that enterprise software ISVs embrace cloud licensing.  Well, while not universally true, we've seen good progress there.  It's hard to argue with the success of cloud licensing for major ISVs like Microsoft and Adobe, but technical computing, as usual, is lagging a bit.  However, while not exactly 2015, I happen to know (confidentially) that we will see some major moves in early 2016 in this space.  Therefore, I'm going to go ahead and declare my 2015 prediction was good.

Now for 2016.  A very interesting thing happened to me the other day.  While having a conversation with a media outlet, the inevitable "how are you different than..." came up.  I was expecting him to say "AWS", because in the 2 years I've been pitching the Nimbix Cloud to the media, I get that exact question.  It's an apples-to-oranges comparison, because we are selling SaaS (and by extension PaaS).  So usually my response starts with, "well it's a different class of service", which is obvious in my opinion, but for some reason, needs to be stated.  It's like comparing a locomotive (IaaS) to a sports car (SaaS).  Yes, both will move stuff from point A to point B.  But obviously, that's where the overlap ends!  

The funny thing that happened was the reporter asked me to differentiate with other SaaS players.  I was both shocked and delighted.  Then I quickly tempered my enthusiasm just assuming this was an anomaly, and went on with the interview.  Obviously I was able to answer the question much more directly and drive our differentiation without first having to reset the playing field.  So this was good.  Much to my pleasant surprise, almost every conversation I've had since then has been about SaaS vs. SaaS, instead of SaaS vs. IaaS.  I can't help but see this as an indication that the market is really starting to understand cloud computing beyond the lowest common denominator (IaaS), and therefore, I'm predicting that in 2016, this sentiment will become mainstream.  It's by no accident that SaaS players such as Salesforce.com, Adobe, and even Microsoft (yes, I know they sell IaaS too!) are accounting for the majority of the revenue growth in cloud computing.  Inevitably, the mainstream would catch on eventually to the added value and clear distinction of SaaS vs. IaaS.  2016 will be the year where we no longer have apples-to-oranges conversations.


About the Author

Leo Reiter is a cloud computing pioneer who has been designing, developing, and evangelizing large scale, on demand systems and technologies since the mid 1990's.  He co-founded Virtual Bridges and helped introduce VDI and desktop cloud (DaaS) to the market.  Currently, Leo serves as Chief Technology Officer of Nimbix, Inc., a global provider of High Performance Computing applications and platforms on demand.  

Leo is on a long-term mission to help more people from all walks of life derive more value from advanced technology, particularly in the cloud.

In his spare time, Leo enjoys reading, cooking, and exercising.

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Twitter: @VirtualLeo