This article doesn’t really support the provocative headline — “How Netflix Is Ruining Cloud Computing” — but it’s an interesting take on next-generation best practices and the rising role of developers.

Read through the comments, too, for some pushback from Netflix.

In my role on SAP’s Global IT Strategy 2.0 team, I helped develop our company’s internal Cloud strategy. And I have been gratified to see how quickly it has been adopted throughout the organization.

From development, to sales, to education, people love the way the Cloud enables them to deploy new applications and system landscapes in minutes and hours – rather than weeks and months. They also love how the Cloud allows them to deploy applications that enable completely new business models, thanks to a wide range of self-service and automation tools we provide.

Great Time-Savers

The key ingredients for successful cloud adoption are our self-service and automation capabilities, combined with direct access to all Cloud features via APIs (application programming interfaces).

Through our automation engine, we help people eliminate manual tasks and significantly increase quality and speed. In addition, we provide an online community where users can share and collaborate on the development of additional automation scripts.

The Value of APIs

In a Cloud environment, APIs become even more critical than ever. APIs can help your organization leverage infrastructure services without having to manage the many technical and configuration issues that pose barriers in the non-Cloud world.

Through APIs, infrastructure becomes code, which can be directly embedded into Cloud-ready applications – providing tremendous elasticity and high availability.

APIs also provide far greater flexibility for integrating Cloud services with any existing solution. However, it is important to follow industry standards created by the leading Cloud providers – such as Amazon EC2, and VMWare vSphere.

The New Standard

Clearly, the Cloud is a great place for users. But it’s also a great place for IT professionals, who now have more time to focus on more strategic tasks that add value to the business.

That’s why Cloud and PaaS (platform-as-a-service) will soon become the preferred delivery model for most applications. What’s more, Cloud will increasingly be used as a convenient way to manage test, sandbox and training systems since it is so easy to get what you need within minutes.

I encourage all IT professionals to become conversant in the language of the Cloud, and to look for opportunities to leverage pure Cloud or “hybrid” environments.

The good news is, a recent study by Oxford Economics indicates that this is quickly becoming a reality. In the next few posts, my colleagues and I will take a closer look at the study, and explore the many reasons why Cloud is the new standard in IT.

Coming next to this site — along with more survey results and analysis — is a series of posts from experts on cloud technology, platforms, and business.

First up: Jens Fuchs, Head of Enterprise Technology Architecture at SAP, on PaaS and the API-driven cloud.

Tune in tomorrow.

Our global survey shows that new business opportunities are proliferating in the cloud, and new markets are being tapped.

  • Over half of respondents have developed new products via the cloud, while 41% have developed new lines of business and more than one-third have entered new markets.
  • Looking ahead, a large majority of companies say they will develop new products and lines of business, and enter new markets in the next three years.
  • Jjust 13% say they have no plans to enter new markets in that time, and fewer than 10% have no plans to develop new products or lines of business.

Respondents to our global survey of business and IT execs expect the cloud to make business more efficient and less costly to conduct, more innovative and more productive, and to lead to increased revenue .

Adoption of the cloud is expected to have a large positive impact across a range of business activities.

  • Productivity increases are keenly anticipated as a benefit of the cloud, with nearly four out of five respondents (79%) expecting high or significant improvement.
  • Both innovation and speed and efficiency of processes are expected to deliver high or significant improvement by over two-thirds of respondents.

Global Platform-as-a-Service market is estimated to grow from $1.28 billion in 2013 to $6.94 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.54% in this period.

Projections are not an exact science, even if they quantify percentage growth to the second decimal place five years out. is a shift in the market that has PaaS, “the smallest market among the cloud computing segments” shifting to become the fastest-growing in terms of revenue.

Design in security management at the cloud platform level, including auditing and access control by role in the organization. One manufacturing company I’ve been working with has defined security at this level and has been able to quickly evaluate SaaS-based manufacturing, pricing and services systems by their security integration compatibility.  This has saved thousands of dollars in security-based customizations to meet the manufactures’ corporate standards.

From Gartner’s 2013 Cloud Computing Guide, via Forbes .

The nuts and bolts of IT — stuff like security and integration — are no less important in the cloud than they are in your own data center. That’s why our overview paper on the state and direction of cloud platforms will be followed by drill-down papers on mobility, security, and integration in the cloud.

Our global survey of 200 business and IT execs shows that the cloud plays a prominent role in business strategy and objectives.

  • More than half of respondents use the cloud to innovate quickly and meet rapidly changing market needs in real time, while just under half use the cloud to better manage and analyze big data and for custom development of new applications.
  • Nearly as many (46%) have a “cloud first “or “cloud only” strategy with regard to new software, and 45% support developers with Platform as a Service resources.
  • A smaller but still significant number, 39%, use the cloud to collaborate with partners, suppliers, and/or customers, and 38% use it to develop and deploy new business models.
  • Better than one in five respondents subscribes to SaaS offerings.
  • Just 16% use cloud computing only for cost and efficiency purposes, while 10% say they are not using cloud computing for strategic ends and a scant 6% say cloud computing is not a part of their business strategy.

It may sound like a movie plot, but shared intelligence among robots is coming, and it’s happening via a cloud platform .

Researchers from five European universities have developed a cloud-computing platform specifically for robots. ‘ Rapyuta: The RoboEarth Cloud Engine ’ will provide robots with direct access to the computational, storage and communicative power offered by giant server farms…The computer scientists contend that the ability to connect to these server farms, or data centres, via their Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) framework will allow WiFi-enabled robots to learn and adapt to complex tasks at a much faster rate than they can at present.

Our survey showed some key variations in cloud and cloud platform adoption and usage around the world. Among those are:

  • Respondents from Latin America are significantly more likely than other regions to have Finance and HR functions as mostly cloud based (40% and 28%, respectively).
  • Respondents from Asia Pacific are significantly more likely than other regions to have access to customer information anytime, anywhere for their internal mobile cloud strategy (80% vs. 56% overall) and to focus on smart-phone adoption trends (76% vs. 54% overall).
  • Respondents from Latin America and EMEA are significantly more likely than those in North America and Asia Pacific to believe that sprawl and redundancy of cloud services are a top three challenge to cloud computing (38% vs. 24%).
  • Respondents from Asia Pacific and EMEA are significantly more likely than those in the Americas to build and host applications for business collaboration (68% vs. 41%).
  • Respondents from Latin America are significantly less likely to be concerned about either data security/IP risk or financial risk with regard to cloud computing (36% and 18%, respectively).
  • Respondents from North America are significantly less likely to have developed new cloud-based offerings for mobile applications (45% vs. 66% elsewhere) and to have focused on the proliferation of apps for mobile cloud computing (38% vs. 63% elsewhere).