Five Megatrends Driving the Personal Cloud Era

If you believe that you’ve had to learn more about the safe online operation and ongoing management of your PC than you ever wanted to know, then you’ll be pleased to discover that there’s relief on the horizon. According to the latest market study by Gartner, the reign of the personal computer is coming to an apparent close. By 2014, the personal cloud will replace the personal computer — and this transition will likely include greater use of media tablets, chromebooks or other similar devices.

Gartner analysts said the personal cloud will become the foundation for a new era that will provide users with an increased level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities — leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity.

However, Garner says that it will require enterprise IT leaders and their staff to fundamentally rethink …

Roundup of SaaS ERP Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

The latest round of SaaS ERP market forecasts are more grounded in the reality of CIO priorities and committed projects in 2012 than ever before.  And this is good news for the many vendors competing in the Financial Management Systems (FMS), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Manufacturing segments of the SaaS ERP market.

Two weeks ago in Houston I interviewed twenty-five different CIOs, IT Directors, CEOs and CTOs as part of a persona research study I am doing.  Their take on SaaS ERP was consistent with what this round-up shows, namely this type of SaaS application is best suited for extending beyond, not replacing, the main ERP systems and platforms.   I concentrated on SaaS ERP adoption in manufacturing and learned the following during my interviews:

  • Of the CIOs I spoke with, SaaS ERP is getting the most traction on the Financial Management Systems side.  The majority of CIOs I spoke …

Focus on the Utility Player in IT

By: Kevin Kern, CEO at Innotas

In Baseball, no one knows what to call the player who stashes several gloves in his locker, shows up each day oblivious to where he’ll be on the field, if he plays at all.  Is he a utility player, a super-utility player, a super sub, or simply multi-dimensional? 

We think a recent article written by PCWorld’s Lucas Mearian supports the point why utility players are so valuable within IT. We think the multi-dimensional tag is appropriate for IT professionals with more than one skill set.  One of the issues that IT organizations are facing today is how to manage not only time of a resource, but how to catalog the various skill sets of each resource so that one can appropriately match time and skill set to project or task.

The article points out several examples of how companies invest …

News Round-up 4/14/2012: OpenStack, Tech Stocks Surge, What Makes a Cloud a Cloud?


There have been some exciting announcements and fascinating news articles recently regarding cloud services and service providers. Every week we will round up the most interesting topics from around the globe and consolidate them into a weekly summary.

How Cloud Computing Can Improve Your Charity’s Efficiency

Great insights by David Sturges from The Guardian on how charities can leverage the efficiencies and flexibility afforded by cloud technology to deliver more for less.


Who Wrote OpenStack Essex? A Deep Dive Into Contributions

ReadWriteWeb looks into who contributed code to OpenStack’s Essex release to glean some insights on who’s driving the project and who has a stake in supporting it.


VMWare Seeks Linux-ization of Cloud with Any-Cloud App Platform

VMWare embraces open source and announce their plan to allow developers to build applications using the framework of their choice and the ability to deploy to just about any cloud.


Citrix Kicks Down Door, Breaks Up OpenStack Cloud Party

Citrix has abandoned OpenStack and launched its own CloudStack open-source cloud platform.


Tech Stocks Once Again Wall Street Darlings

Technology share from social media, mobility, cloud computing, data analytics and location-based e-commerce companies have surged up to 60% this year. Does this rise point to the beginning of a new technology bubble?


IBM, Red Hat to Join OpenStack Foundation

In the same week that saw Citrix leave OpenStack for its own open-source platform, Red Hat and IBM join the OpenStack cloud infrastructure.


Also in the news:



IT Chasms, Gaps, and A New World Order

I went to dinner last night with my pal, EMC big wig Rich Napolitano, and a startup he knows called Plexxi.  I’ve known Rich for many years since his startup Pirus (acquired by Sun for way too much money, god bless them).

Now Plexxi is still in stealth mode so I won’t unwrap them yet, but suffice to say they are entering the world that I love – an enormously disruptive ($$) market ripe for inevitable change (the networking space) because of powerful, long-term secular trends (that they didn’t have to create).  All the pieces required for mega-change.

I can’t say that Plexxi will be the next VMware, Facebook, or other smash, but at least they are smart enough to make sure the market they went into has the characteristics that make a mega-outcome possible.  Most don’t.

Which gets me to the point du jour – we still …

SMB Cloud Services and the Changing Role of IT Professionals Who Service Them


Cloud computing is affecting the role of IT professionals who typically manage a business’s technological infrastructure, and depending on who you ask the cloud is either an exciting new development or a serious challenge to job security.

In Parallels SMB Cloud Insights Report, we explore how cloud services have enabled companies large and small to make massive budget cuts and gain efficiency by forgoing expensive equipment and annually-licensed software. “Parallels SMB Cloud Insights research continues to confirm that SMBs are at the forefront of cloud adoption,” says Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels.  “This research is part of our commitment to service providers to give them both the expertise and technology they need to address the quickly-growing market for SMB cloud services.”


The rise in cloud services marks a shift in IT responsibilities and Parallels is leading that charge by offering targeted services to for hosters to deliver to SMBs that are either converting to the cloud, switching to the cloud, or expanding the cloud services they already have in place.

In addition to serving SMBs with dedicated IT professionals on staff, Parallels research also identifies the cloud delivery opportunities to serve SMBs with no IT staff as well as SMBs that hire outside IT consultants.

Parallels research shows that 45% of SMBs in the U.S. have no IT staff, leaving “do-it-yourself” owners or senior members of the company to handle purchasing decisions, installation, and maintenance of all IT solutions. For the SMBs that hire outside IT consultants (which 18% of micro SMBs do), Parallels allows the consultants (usually hosting resellers) to offer cloud services to the SMB end customer without having to manage the infrastructure themselves. In both cases, cloud services benefit business and the bottom line.


With cloud services in place, IT professionals can focus on what they are often highly undervalued for in business: strategy and innovation. A successful career in IT may mean having a cloud-focused skillset and being able to think strategically on a big-picture level.


In the move toward IT as a service, IT professionals will be measured less by how many fires they put out on any given day and more by the value and efficiency they add to internal and client-facing business processes. “Instead of managing infrastructure, tending the help desk, and commissioning server instances to be created,” Brandon Butler of Network World writes, “IT workers of tomorrow are more likely to be managing vendor relationships, working across departments and helping clients and workers integrate into the cloud.”

Learn more about this transition in any of our Parallels SMB Cloud Insights Reports, and stay tuned for a 5-part blog series exploring areas such as hosted infrastructure, web presence, hosted communication and collaboration, business applications, and more.


Exploring Microsoft Windows 8: Search Functionality

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system is bringing some of the most radical changes to the OS since Windows 95.  Our own Chris Ward gave a great preview of what’s to come, and I’d like to focus on some of the baked-in features which have received a complete overhaul.  It’s very clear that not only is Microsoft improving the functionality & performance of the OS (what can it do & how fast does it do it), but they are also paying extremely close attention to usability (how easy is it to use).  And this feat is made all the more complicated because not only do they need to focus on the classic desktop, which we’ve come to know & love, but they now must also consider the experience of someone using a tablet which is a dramatically different way to navigate around the operating system.  This is the first part in a series of discussions around the features of Windows 8, some old, some new.

SMB Cloud Services in Emerging Markets Poised for Explosive Growth


Parallels research shows the cloud services market in the developing world is growing over three times as fast as that of the developed world. In our Parallels SMB Cloud Insights Report, we modeled the 2011 global SMB market and estimated it to be $34 billion. 


Need more proof? Business Today reports cloud computing will create two million new jobs in India alone by 2015. And here’s a look from ESDS at 24 countries prepared for business in cloud computing. Clearly, these emerging markets are poised for massive expansion.





According to Parallels research, more than 60% of the growth in web hosting will come from emerging markets in the next three years, and the worldwide SaaS market will grow to $20 billion by 2014. While these forecasts are dramatic, cloud adoption could be growing even faster.  BSA recently published a study of 24 countries that together account for 80% of the world’s information and communications technology, and it found that cloud computing in developing countries often lags behind because of weak privacy and data protection laws, as well as poor infrastructure.


Moreover, government and legal regulations are holding up cloud services in developing nations like India, where there are few protections in place to prevent Internet intermediaries or service providers from seizing data at will. But these issues are being addressed, meaning there still exists is tremendous potential in emerging markets.


Parallels research shows that less than 40% of SMBs in developing countries have a company website, making new adopters seeking basic web presence a primary opportunity. Micro and small SMBs in these countries have shown a strong willingness to adapt, as 35% plan to add a third-party web hosting plan in the next three years. Service providers can help encourage this move to the cloud by educating SMBs about the features and benefits of cloud services.  And many of these same firms will never buy a server as well.


For more information, watch Parallels CEO Birger Steen’s Q&A from Ask the Experts at Parallels Summit 2012, and download our Parallels SMB Cloud Insights Report.


In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing on this blog a five-part series with even more insights from Parallels continuous SMB Cloud Insights research exploring areas such as hosted infrastructure, web presence, hosted communication and collaboration, business applications, and more.