Tech Decade in Review: Cloud and Mobile Win Big
by Jim Lundy
As we say farewell to the second decade of the 2000s, it is worth looking at the technologies that had the biggest impact. In our opinion, cloud and mobile were the drivers of the last decade and there are many reasons for this. In this blog, we offer a survey of the technology decade in review, explaining our rationale for how cloud and mobile attained such dominance.
Mobile Started the Decade
In 2010, mobile was just getting started and the iPhone was in its 3rd year. The iPad did not launch until 2011. With both smartphones and tablet on the market, the mobile revolution was underway. Nevertheless, nobody realized how big mobile would become. Jump ahead to 2020 and Apple has become one of the largest tech providers in the world, dwarfing the likes of IBM, Microsoft and Nokia, who was the market leader at the beginning of the decade.
Apple, Huawei, and Samsung Were Winners in Mobile
Apple started the decade of with revenues of $65.2 billion and ended it with $260.174 billion, making this one of the largest revenue growth runs in history. The other big winner was Samsung and now, Huawei, which is on track to outpace even Samsung.
The Slow Burn Called Cloud
When we look at all of the things that happened from 2010 until now in technology, cloud impacted nearly everything at home and at work. In 2009-10, CIOs were not buying into the cloud. Massive adaption really started in 2014 and after that the race was on.
Cloud Over Ten Years: IT Was Always a Skeptic
While cloud was a winner, it didn’t come easily. I visited a large manufacturer in 2009 and spent time with the entire CIO executive staff. When we discussed cloud, the CIO just laughed and said they were never going there. Jump ahead a few years and the new CIO at the same firm was onstage at Dreamforce with Marc Benioff and an Accenture partner hugging him tightly (for all the money they were extracting from his firm).
With SaaS now table stakes, the new battle is about hybrid cloud and running apps in containers. Cloud storage has already revolutionized business practice and will continue to do so. These transformations will open up choice for enterprises, meaning cost control will now become a new operational strategy.
Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Were all Winners in Cloud
When it comes to cloud computing, the last decade was about the growth of cloud providers Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others. Many SaaS providers grew as well but many benefited from the platform as a service (PaaS) that these vendors offered. Amazon has leveraged cloud the most, but Google (GCP) is now fighting back with Thomas Kurian from Oracle leading the charge (see Aragon blog). Microsoft Azure has been taking some clients from AWS and has been growing overall, in part, due to demand for Azure.
IBM Was Late to Cloud
While IBM has been battling for its share of the cloud computing market, the last decade will be looked at as one in which IBM was viewed as being late to the cloud. While many still don’t know that IBM actually ran some of Google’s Data Centers, IBM itself, until it bought SoftLayer in 2013, was woefully behind in cloud adoption.
IBM’s chairman and CEO Ginny Rometti will be viewed as the exec who didn’t move fast enough. Last week, IBM announced that Rometti was stepping down—being replaced by Arvind Krishna, who ironically, was responsible for IBM cloud and cognitive capabilities. Jim Whitehurst, formerly head of Redhat, which IBM acquired last year, was named as president. The challenge for IBM is winning in hybrid cloud, a market that is now steadily trending.
This last decade of technology change demonstrates the way that unexpected and emerging products can blossom into focal points of market activity. Cloud computing and cloud storage have become critical to enterprise, with late adopters have suffered as a result. Likewise, the mobile market has become increasingly central, outpacing the growth of many other sectors. The decade in review shows how radically technology markets can shift in short periods of time when innovative new products emerge.