When it comes to cloud computing, the good news for companies offering everything that isn’t software as a service is that there’s still plenty of time to get your offerings into the market, according to a report released today from Forrester that takes the current temperature of several sections of the industry. The bad news is that adoption of one of the oldest cloud-based services — infrastructure as a service — is still pretty darn low, with only 4 percent of small businesses and 3 percent of enterprise customers even trying it.
So what does this mean for the myriad companies small and large trying to provide infrastructure as a service or a platform as a service (software as a service is already pretty mature)? Well, that the opportunity is out there, but that it’s going to take a while to reach a critical mass of customers. The report is also cautious when it comes to enterprise willingness to adopt technology from startups, which means that competing services from established vendors may win out. But it’s flat-out pessimistic about services such as business process outsourcing in the cloud, which is offered by the likes of Appian, Cordys and Lombardi.
It also doesn’t foresee success for test and development platforms built on a multitenant infrastructure as a service, such what’s offered by Citrix, CollabNet, Interactive TKO and Skytap, partly because many of these vendors are startups and partly because an enterprise would have to still run its application on the same IaaS provider to ensure it works. IBM just opened its own test and dev cloud to a public beta yesterday, which will address the fears of using a startup, but not the issue of testing an app on one cloud and then having to move it to another. After all, there’s only so much one can abstract, even in the clouds.