Mary Meeker’s Internet Report: The turning point for cloud adoption

One of the most compelling slides in Mark Meeker’s annual report this year is this —

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— which shows that the money spent for public and private cloud is approaching that of conventional data centers. The trend is clear, and if things proceed even linearly, in less than ten years all IT infrastructure will be in the cloud.

The reality is that some fraction of IT is likely to remain tied up in something like data centers, but it won’t be much. Also, I bet the trend will go non-linear in the very near term as various impediments are removed, and where important services — like AI-centric big data analysis or conversational commerce — will be difficult to host in traditional data centers, because they will rely on huge banks of AI-accelerating chips. So, I bet the outcome will be almost 100% of data center spend in the cloud in less than 5 years, with a ragtag coterie of legacy software (COBOL?) in the data center.


Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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