Spur-of-the-Moment Cloud Predictions Inspired at IAMCP

In another month or so, channel leaders and pundits will start flooding your news feeds with predictions for the channel future. Thanks to an informal conversation with some of my favorite channel pros at the IAMCP Southern California 10th Anniversary celebration last week, Channel Marketing Journal is getting a head start! 

Outdoors in the Orange County night air, we pondered all the major questions of the day:

  • When you’re about to get into a fight, what song starts playing in your head?
  • If you had a theme song, what would it be?
  • Could you survive a zombie apocalypse?
  • What company would emerge as the cloud leader over the next five years? Would AWS keep its lead? Or is Microsoft jumping ahead with a little extra help from a $10 billion Pentagon contract? 

We also debated what it would take to win the cloud competition. Will the winner be the company that comes out on top in the SMB space, or the company with the highest consumer ad spend? (Based on its Sunday night football ad spend, it looks like AWS is placing its bets on the latter.) What role will multi-cloud and hybrid cloud play?

Applications also came up. With Office 365, Microsoft has the defacto standard office application. Is that the secret sauce for success? Or, will the company with the most applications win? 

At the end of the debate, three predicted Azure will take the gold in five years with two of the three seeing IBM replacing Google in third place. Everyone else sees AWS and Azure in first and second place with either Google or a smattering of providers in third. 

Where does Channel Marketing Journal come out on all this? Here’s my take.

In five years Microsoft jumps to the lead, AWS drops to second place with IBM coming in as a strong third due to their leadership in custom application development.  Why? 

  1. Microsoft’s strategy to extend its leadership in B2B applications beyond just those it owns to those it also promotes is the wave of the future
  2. Microsoft’s advantage in the multi-cloud environment positions it for a land grab from AWS. Channel Marketing Journal interview with VM Health’s Bob Kilbride supports this prediction.
  3. Microsoft is already a winner in the hybrid cloud world and will increase its lead in the next several years. 

What are your predictions for the future of the cloud, and what would be your life theme song? Contact us to share your ideas.