News that Seattle-based cloud startup Opscode has raised $19.5 million (bringing its total to $31 million) shouldn't come as a surprise. Investment in new cloud companies is booming, and the VC tap is on full blast.
Opscode makes an open-source framework for setting up cloud services. And it's not alone. Over the last six months, venture funds have appeared seemingly out of nowhere, pouring into cloud startups focused on infrastructure, as shown in the sampling below.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, True Ventures, Radar Partners, Emerson St. Partners, VMware, Google Ventures, and Cisco.
Business continuity for cloud infrastructures
2009; Israel and Boston
Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, US Venture Partners
One VC firm alone, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, has declared intentions of dedicating $100 million to cloud startups this year.
“Companies’ comfort level and willingness to adopt the cloud is hitting an acceleration point,” said Kleiner Perkins partner Matt Murphy in an interview with Bloomberg.com’s Tech Deals blog. “Now’s the most interesting time in the last 10 years to be investing in enterprise-based companies.”
VCs' cloud enthusiasm may be stoked by forecasts of increased activity in the market for cloud products and services.
Is a bubble building? It seems unlikely, because clouds are changing the nature of computing. There are some who maintain that clouds will replace much of traditional IT within the foreseeable future. The latest to glom on to this vision is research firm Gartner, which envisions personal clouds replacing PCs as early as 2014.
Well, here's another prediction: The growth of clouds won't spell an end to IT, though it will change the nature of IT's work. Indeed, personal clouds might go a long way toward helping make enterprise networks a bit more manageable.
In many ways, the funding around cloud computing is a reassuring indicator that innovation is coalescing in an area that will produce plenty of benefit to enterprises and the economies they rely on.
VCs see not only revenue from cloud services, but from the suppliers to cloud providers. Software and hardware vendors, virtualization suppliers, and commercial data center facilities all belong to a complex cloud supply chain.
Definitely, Abdlah. No, it seems IT will morph, with the CIO becoming a more influential C-suite partner, charged with overseeing the procurement and maintenance of cloud services. IT will probably blend more into the fabric of the business instead of being an operational element. This is already underway from what we hear, isn't it?
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Like other leading technology-using businesses, Walmart is starting to look like a vendor in its integration of the latest technologies to serve its customers. That's what led it to buy two Silicon Valley cloud startups this week.
IT executives are worried about business units that use social media, Dropbox, Skype, and other public clouds without working through IT. This "cloud sprawl" creates concerns about security, compliance, and other potential problems for the enterprise, according to a study.
Cloud computing helped Netflix score a big win this week, meeting a thousandfold increase in demand and driving the Internet video service provider back to profitability. It provided Netflix with "availability, scalability, and cost savings," chief executive officer Reed Hastings wrote in a letter to shareholders.
Enterprises are discovering that using social networking within the secure setting of a SaaS provider's network gives them an unusual opportunity to freely collaborate with partners, suppliers, and even competitors.
All the recent hoopla about cloud security overlooks an important point, which is that it's not strictly a cloud problem. The linkage of online services into cooperative chains creates the risk, and only biometrics and federation of providers can save us.
The Amazon smartphone rumor and the Apple mini-iPad rumor show that the mobile device giants think they have to be in all the device spaces to win. Why? Because the cloud can create an ecosystem where every device can cooperate to support the user, and if you don't supply all the devices you miss out on the total value.
Many CIOs are findng themselves in the midst of a "cloud honeymoon," with little empirical data available about how cloud should perform and with other C-level executives just happy to have cloud. But this is likely to end in the next 18 months, when the hard questions about cost savings, agility, and speed of deployment begin to emerge.
CXOs should be looking at the cloud’s ability to move business processes from enterprise to enterprise. Companies that think of themselves as part of a larger ecosystem in this way can use cloud computing to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
Enterprises would like to move to cloud computing but are hesitant because they are concerned about providers’ ability to secure company data. Here are some tips that help to ensure that if breaches occur, the business is not left holding the bag.
Edmunds separates customers into segments based on the info it collects on its site and from partners, and uses that to push out custom content, said Brian Baron, director of business analytics for Edmunds.com, at Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit.
The automotive website uses propensity modeling to target ads and customer registration forms, said Brian Baron, director of business analytics for Edmunds.com, at Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit.
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