Evidently it's a requirement that all of those in the cloud computing world must chime in with their cloud computing predictions for 2010, so here are mine:
1. Rise of standards
The development of cloud computing standards and the use of cloud computing standards to promote interoperability was more conceptual in nature in 2009. In 2010 we should start to see some real traction in this area. Many user organizations are waiting on the sidelines for these standards to become real before they move data and applications to cloud providers. Some of the organizations to watch include the Open Cloud Consortium (OCC) and committees work within the Object Management Group and Open Group. However, many of the cloud computing providers that are trying to create standards as a means of marketing will abandon them in 2010 or 2011.
[ Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in the InfoWorld editors' 21-page Cloud Computing Deep Dive PDF special report, featuring an exclusive excerpt from David Linthicum's new book on cloud architecture. | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]
2. First major cloud computing provider outages
While we did see Gmail go down a few times this year, for the most part we've not had a major outage of a large cloud computing provider. However, two things will change that record: the rapid rise of the use of cloud computing providers, and the fact that most of these providers are still testing and refining their platforms. This is bound to lead to one or two major cloud computing outages that will hit the press and once again call into question the value of cloud computing. Despite the outages, cloud computing providers will maintain an uptime record that far exceeds that of most on-premise systems, but you won't hear about that in the technology press.
3. Microsoft will be relevant in the cloud
Most people in the world of cloud computing consider Microsoft a punch line. However, with the rise of Azure and Microsoft Office Web Apps, Microsoft will find itself well placed in the clouds. Most Global 2000 companies, if they are existing Microsoft Office customers, will find Microsoft is the best glide path to cloud computing. Google will continue to dominate small to medium-sized businesses, using its free ad-driven model for delivery of Google Docs and Gmail, with a few larger enterprise deals thrown in.