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News  19, Oct 2012

Cloud computing 2012 – Looking back and moving forward

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cloud computingCloud computing has been a major topic for tech startups over the past few years. What has been done and what more opportunities are there in the cloud?

Cloud computing has evolved over the years and has become the backbone of a new breed of startups. From email backup solution service Dropymyemail to cross-platform syncing and sharing service Kleii to mobile apps like Instagram. In an earlier study, cloud computing is predicted to generate US$1.1 trillion in annual business revenues and nearly 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015.

A comprehensive infographic on Visual.ly on cloud computing through the years indicated that ads for full-time IT jobs focused on cloud computing grew almost three and a half times between 2009 and 2010, showing the demand for cloud computing professionals. Key features that attracted companies to cloud computing back in 2008 were efficiency, reducing capital costs and easing staffing issues.

A survey done earlier this year by North Bridge Venture Partners on the future of cloud computing showed similar results. Scalability, business agility and cost still remains the key drivers for cloud computing.

The survey results also showed that Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is currently the primary, and expected to continue as the leading cloud investment for companies. However, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are also expecting to see significant growth over the next five years.

Security remains the main inhibitor to the adoption of cloud computing by companies with 55 percent of the survey respondents identifying it as a concern. This is followed by regulatory compliance and vendor lock-in at 38 and 32 percent respectively.

What does this mean for investors and startups? Michael J. Skok, a partner at North Bridge, highlighted how cloud has helped five technology sectors over the past year. With media, social, mobile, e-commerce and big data solutions seeing a boost with cloud computing, what will be the next rising startup from Asia?

Looking at the security concerns, could an enterprise facing software like Clault be something that can give customers the peace of mind they need? Michael identified backup and archiving services as a potential home run, something that Dropmyemail’s founder John Fearon has identified too. Other predictions include collaboration service on the cloud, putting Japanese startup Nulab with their products Cacoo and Backlog on our cloud startup to watch for list.

In 2011, venture capital firms invested as much as US$6.9 billion in cloud startups. This investment alone is an increase of 68 percent from 2010. For startups looking to scale their products, the cloud provides a good opportunity not only from the product angle but also from cloud service companies that are looking to support customers that build on their platform.

 This article was made possible by AWS Start-Up Challenge. Enter your startup or idea and stand a chance to meet with Tier One investors, receive AWS Business-level support and technical mentorship from Amazon Web Services and other amazing prizes. To learn more, please visit AWS Start-Up Challenge.

Image credits: Healthcare Global, ZDNet

Joash Wee

Joash Wee

Joash is passionate about tech startups and building the technopreneur community. While completing his undergraduate business degree, he decided to take a programming class just for kicks. Fortunately for him, he managed to scrap a pass and it now helps him get by with the geek talk. When he is not discussing about startups or the latest technologies, you can find him reading off his Kindle or taking photos with silver halide salts, old school.

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