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The Future of Cloud is Vertical

My email inbox is filled with the latest research everyday with content around the evolution of cloud and its associated segments. Whether it’s a focus on a specific area (IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, etc.) or a branch out towards an industry (IoT, AI, Mobile, etc.), the consensus among industry experts is that cloud is staking its claim, here to stay, and not going anywhere. Unlike the early days of cloud where much of the conversation stayed in conservative arenas including email, productivity, word processing, and storage, the stakes have changed. While those areas have certainly evolved, changing how everyone works, the differentiators have more or less evened out.

These are themes of every industry. When laptops first emerged on the market, everyone was clamoring about hard drive space, graphics card, processor speed, and sound cards. Nowadays, you just hear people talking about the need for a laptop, and that’s it – cost isn’t an issue – and neither is it for those adopting the cloud. According to IDG’s 2016 Cloud Economics Study, 70% of organizations now run one application in the cloud with another 16% planning to do so in the next year, while another 56% are identifying operations that are candidates for cloud hosting. With so much ubiquity accepted around the benefits of agility, technology refreshment, and lower TCO, where does the landscape turn to next?

Let’s Get Vertical

The saving differentiator of any technology platform today has become that of the app store, made popular by Apple once they sold enough iPhones. As the app store grew, solutions emerged to help customers solve problems in everything from messaging to productivity to photography and more. A similar trend will soon emerge in cloud and DevOps, as solutions move towards solving specific industry needs like education, nonprofits, and athletics. Large and wide-ranging solutions already exist for firms serving healthcare and financial customers.

The emergence of vertical solutions doesn’t solve all the problems in a particular industry, but is enough to get the conversation and the competition started in specific industries. Uber and Lyft for example, are cloud solutions (though not in the traditional sense) for transportation and taxis, which disrupted a long-existing industry that had never even considered the cloud. As time has gone on, Uber has even gotten into the business of delivering food and offering scheduled rides far in advance, innovations that are supported by existing cloud platforms like IBM’s Softlayer or Bluemix platforms.

Nonetheless, cloud services are expanding faster than ever and the opportunity for expansion is as ripe as ever. What doesn’t exist now could easily be around by the end of the year – and if the services that your competition has around are on the market, now might be the best time to get innovating and disrupting.

What do you think?

Let’s Innovate

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Albert Qian

Albert Qian is a Marketing Manager at Perficient for our IBM PCS, DevOps, and Enterprise Solutions Partners focused on cloud computing technologies.

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