On September 15th between 11am-12pm EDT Forrester held an interactive TweetJam on the future of cloud computing including Forrester analysts Jennifer Belissent, Mike Cansfield, Pascal Matzke, Stefan Ried, Peter O’Neill , myself and many other experts and interested participants. Using the hashtag #cloudjam (use this tag to search for the results in Twitter), we asked a variety of questions.

We had a great turnout, with more than 400 tweets (at last count) from over 40 unique Tweeter’s. A high level overview of the key words and topics that were mentioned during the TweetJam is visualized in the attached graphic using the ManyEyes data visualization tool.


Below you will find a short summary of some key takeaways and quotes from the TweetJam:

1. What really is cloud computing? Let’s get rid of 'cloud washing!'

The cloud definition by NIST was mentioned several times, but in its current version 15, it is still some pages long and certainly doesn’t fit into a Tweet. Our TweetJam participants didn’t pick a winner among different definitions of cloud computing. There was a consensus however that cloud is NOT just virtualization and hosting. Some of the characteristics mentioned: managed, metering, automated, pay-by-use/on demand.  Some interesting Tweet quotes shared by participants:

  • @ashish_bhagwat First, cloud is not just virtualization and hosting. Most still confuse with them…
  • @larrycincy – something that is managed, metering, automated and on-demand
  • @pascalmatzke Vendors need a clear cloud definition to focus their portfolios around the right aspects; some strong bets need to be made
  • @hkisker Forrester’s cloud definition: “Standardized IT capability delivered via Internet in a pay-by-use, self-service way.” Fits in a tweet

2. What are the benefits and opportunities of cloud computing?

Flexibility was the main focus of the benefits, not only in making costs more manageable and transparent, but also operationally through automation and scalability. A very interesting point raised was not only can existing legacy software be replaced by cheaper cloud solutions, but the added flexibility will potentially allow for the reconstruction of overall business processes using the cloud and using multiple sources.  Some interesting Tweet quotes shared by participants:

  • @pascalmatzke Key benefits are operational flexibility, financial liquidity and cost transparency, time-to-market
  • @ColtandtheCloud Benefits include industrialization/automation of IT and to deploy scalable applications from inception to production
  • @ashish_bhagwat Advantages of Leasing v/s Ownership of assets. Simple.
  • @tkounadis costs certainly. But Cloud allows one to re-imagine business processes and source priv, pub and hybrid solutions to best address

 3. What are the challenges, risks & inhibitors of cloud comp?

Participants of our TweetJam identified a number of challenges. The traditional concerns – security and privacy – were mentioned. Following on from flexibility, one of the main inhibitors of cloud is for companies to completely understand what is possible for their own unique situations and leverage the technology effectively. Many IT organizations are not ready, and CIOs still don’t understand the opportunity cloud computing provides to them and see it as a threat. Some interesting Tweet quotes shared by participants:

  • @jenbelissent Security/privacy still the top inhibitors, along with uncertainty over TCO and integration with existing hardware and software.
  • @Jhodge88 Security obviously the #1 concern
  • @ashish_bhagwat Inhibitors: Sense of Loss of Direct Control, Data Security, Data Sensitivity concerns, Compliance, Loss of visibility/Reporting
  • @StefanRied Cloud does not work for everything; most large enterprises will complement on-premise with cloud. Understanding this is challenge!
  • @larrycincy RT @hkisker: What are the challenges… Biggest challenge is confusion on how to leverage the technology
  • @StefanRied: the business model is the most disruptive change in cloud computing – not the technology!
  • @hkisker Many CIOs see cloud as a threat and don’t understand yet the opportunity it provides to be part of a flexible sourcing strategy
  • @tkounadis Challenge – Meaning of Jargon; Business value beyond costs; Comfort with Model; Understndng of applying potential to bsinss
  • @larrycincy RT @hkisker: What are the challenges… Another challenge is fear mongering about #cloud security issues by some vendors
  • @pascalmatzke Another challenge is for procurement organizations to buy into the idea of flexibility rather than TCO

 4. Will cloud computing cannibalize the traditional IT markets?

Feedback from our tweeters indicated that through lock-in’s and legacy systems, traditional IT markets are fairly stable in the short term with the trend moving steadily towards the cloud in the long term. What is interesting is the non-traditional markets, i.e. start-ups, will be more likely to adopt the cloud model due to cost and flexibility advantages, therefore IT companies looking to grow ahead of the curve will have to start paying attention. Some interesting Tweet quotes shared by participants:

  • @larrycincy RT @hkisker: Will cloud computing cannibalize the traditional IT markets? Not all of IT in the near term – for large organizations
  • @pascalmatzke Our recent report http://bit.ly/cXFdZdon IT services market shows approx. 50% of all IT services in 2020 will be cloud based.
  • @tkounadis IMO – Not in short term. Smart Business's embrace intelligent sourcing strategy and pick IT and Cloud and Hybrid case by case
  • @ColtandtheCloud @hkisker No – IT demand will always outstrips supply. Emphasis on service providers over IT tools providers will happen
  • @jenbelissent 43% of IT decision-makers have a strategy of demand software delivery over on-premise deployments. Can’t hide from it.
  • @hkisker There will be new cloud markets e.g. at very small companies or new innovative services but most will be cannibalization
  • @addepalli RT @ashish_bhagwat: Cloud may actually become the "default" model for start-ups. IT Departments may come in upon maturity

 5. What are new emerging business models in the cloud market?

Somewhat reflecting the maturity of the cloud market, the response from our tweeters did not provide a completely cohesive idea on emerging business models. As indicated from the tweets, opportunities of collaboration, cloud broker marketplaces and new, innovative services are all present, but the problem of definitive ROI is apparent. Without this, new business models from cloud are still stuttering to find traction from business leaders, and therefore no cohesion from business models has emerged. Some interesting Tweet quotes shared by participants:

  • @larrycincy RT @hkisker: What are new emerging business models in the cloud market? cloud services enabling start-ups is a new model
  • ashish_bhagwat Current business models very defensive due to unclear ROI mechanism. TOC is clear, ROI isn't!
  • @ColtandtheCloud : Not sure about the broker model. Some interesting conversations going on about cloud-interconnect though
  • @manidoraisamy RT @hkisker: Cloud is an opportunity for service providers to package IP into new (e.g. SaaS) services > absolutely
  • @larrycincy disconnected use of cloud applications is a new business model and game changer;

 6. Will the cloud bubble burst or entirely change the IT market?

All participants shared some concern that expectations about cloud computing might be over exaggerated potentially leading to a cloud disillusion. However, there was broad consensus that cloud is here to stay and will find its strong place as a viable deployment methodology for ICT resources. Some interesting Tweet quotes shared by participants:

  • @larrycincy Will the cloud bubble burst or entirely change the IT market? Will not burst but will gracefully mature; Hype is the only problem
  • @ashish_bhagwat Cloud is an overarching disruptive trend. It has multiple bubbles some of which would bust, some will be game-changers.
  • @Jhodge88 Definitely change… make that revolutionize
  • @jenbelissent Hopefully the cloud bubble will burst AND entirely change IT: we need to shed the hype but the changes will stay.
  • @tkounadis @hkisker Change IT… Evolve from 1 size fits all – Software… to Openess, Flexibility and Choice
  • @StefanRied RT @hkisker: Will the cloud bubble burst < cloud brings industrialization and an ongoing price pressure leading to commoditization
  • @ashish_bhagwat RT @hkisker: Today cloud computing is about cost reduction by resource sharing. Tomorrow it will be about business innovation via collaboration
  • @Jhodge88 definitely RT @tkounadis: @hkisker Change IT… Evolve from 1 size fits all – Software… to Openess, Flexibility and Choice.
  • @sureshsambandam @hkisker @StefanRied The kind of adoption we are seeing definitely tells us Cloud is here to stay!
  • @hkisker Today cloud computing is about cost reduction by resource sharing. Tomorrow it will be about business innovation via collaboration
  • @Jhodge88 cloud hype and buzz will subside, but the technology and adoption is here to stay
  • @IBM_IMS It is changing the IT market in that it's leveling the playing field greatly.

Thanks again to all participants. It was an interesting TweetJam and fun time to twitter with you!

Be on the lookout for additional TweetJam events from Forrester Research across a wide variety of technology topics. We are interested to hear from you what other topics you would like to see being discussed in our next TweetJam.

Please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Kind regards,

Holger Kisker