The Future of Software Is the Cloud, But We Are Not There Yet


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Scribe could not have been more excited to work with North Bridge and 38 industry collaborators spanning established leaders such as Microsoft, Amazon, and SAP, and emerging, and fast-growth companies, such as Actifio, Apperian, and Unidesk, to gauge the state of cloud computing and its disruptive potential.

North bridge

North Bridge 2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Collaborators

There is no doubt that the rate of adoption and acceptance of the cloud surpasses even the most optimistic forecasts – according to the North Bridge survey, companies are accelerating their trust in cloud solutions, with 50% of respondents confident that cloud solutions are viable for mission-critical business applications, with big data and CRM topping the list:

North bridge survey
Source: North Bridge 2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey

Among the key drivers of cloud adoption are the cloud’s promise of scalability, followed by business agility – rolling out cloud apps usually takes significantly less time than on-premise solutions. But for those that are still worried about security (a very sizable portion of the IT market), cloud is less appealing and less likely to be a viable option in the immediate future.

Before we rule out on-premise as the way of the past, I have to agree with SAP’s take on the state of the business – although the software industry is undergoing possibly its biggest transformation ever, the hybrid IT landscape is here to stay for years to come. The numbers support this view; although 67% of the respondents to the North Bridge 2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey have already deployed a cloud app, most still operate hybrid IT environments. As a matter of fact, Scribe’s recent report on theState of Customer Data Integration established that 51% of businesses report using a combination of on-premise and cloud-based systems, with systems integrators reporting between 65-69% of their integration projects involving hybrid solutions. Only 11% of the business respondents polled in our survey report operating within cloud-only environments.

I have a similar reaction to the belief shared by the majority of the North Bridge survey respondents – cloud computing can lower TCO and can create a less complex IT workflow. But we have some work to do to get there. In order for the cloud to reach its potential and transform the market completely, there is one element that needs to happen. We have to connect today’s progressive social businesses to track customer interactions across their full continuum – right from the first tweet, website visit or call, through to engagement and sales, and ongoing customer support. The 360-degree view of our customers will, no doubt, gain a new meaning, one that encompasses the ability to view customer data from multiple online, social and offline sources, coupled with the ability to act on that information to support a world where the buyer is in the driver’s seat.

This new world of deep customer engagement will require SaaS, PaaS, and ISVs to work in unison to meet the needs of the social customer. And as it is true for any powerful ecosystem, how IT infrastructure and software providers connect with each other will become increasingly critical. I see the future of cloud computing as one connected by powerful integration platforms that scale the connections between and among software vendors to make the flow of data seamless, high quality and meaningful.

For more information on the 2012 Future of the Cloud study, read Michael Skok’s blogpost.


Lou Guercia
As President and CEO for Scribe Software, Lou is responsible for Scribe's direction, continued growth as a leader in mid-market and enterprise integration as well as the company's entry into the cloud through integration-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings. He is a member of the SIIA Software Board of Directors and the MassTLC Cloud cluster.



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