Top Cloud Computing Companies: A Who’s Who List in Cloud Computing
Nothing beats being early in an upcoming trend. That applies not only to life in general, but even in investing. Imagine yourself investing early in the semiconductor and personal computer boom. What would it be like if you were able to invest early in Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), and Hewlett Packard (HPQ)? The simple answer to that is you’d probably be filthy rich by now. Those companies gained 8,583%, 42,571%, 19,787%, and 14,938% respectively since their IPOs.
The good news for us young investors is: technology is always evolving. New technologies are opening up new markets and new opportunities for investing. One such technological evolution that is being developed (and used) by tech companies is cloud computing. International Data Corporation, a leading market research firm, expects that public cloud computing will be a $44 billion market by 2013. Currently, companies are pouring billions of dollars in the race for cloud computing dominance, so there is a fat profit opportunity for early investors in this emerging technology. For your reference and (further) research, here are eight publicly listed companies that pose to make a ton of profits from the cloud computing business.
VMWare, Inc. (VMW) is a company that provides virtualization and virtualization-based cloud infrastructure solutions in the US and internationally. Currently, VMWare is trying to position itself as the linchpin to help enterprises get to public and private clouds.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is seriously getting involved in the cloud computing business. It has an open cloud platform service called Windows Azure, and the Microsoft System Center 2012 (for private cloud). It is also coming up with the Windows Server 2012, the server operating system that well, focuses on cloud computing.
Citrix Systems Inc. (CTXS) recently bought a couple of cloud computing infrastructure and services companies. One of those is www.cloud.com, a provider of open source infrastructure that is quite popular among cloud providers in the open cloud services arena. Among others, it also bought Sharefile, a provider of cloud-based data storage to complement Citrix’s foothold in the cloud computing business.
Verizon (VZ) Last year, Verizon bought Terremark Worldwide Inc., a global provider of managed IT infrastructure and cloud services, for $1.4 billion. Terremark has a product called the Enterprise Cloud Private Edition which targets large enterprises and government agencies. If cloud computing explodes in the way that IDC predicts, we can expect this telecom behemoth to take a large part of that $44 billion market next year and beyond.
Salesforce.com’s (CRM) CEO, Marc Benoiff, is already positioning the company into what he believes is the next era of cloud computing. He refers to this as Cloud2, which is all about social media, mobile computing, and real-time. CRM bought Heroku, a popular Ruby Platform as a Service company, in an attempt to establish a leadership position in Cloud2 computing. Keep these guys in your radar coz these guys are probably a step ahead of the cloud computing pack.
CenturyLink (CTL) is a provider of online hosting, networking, and infrastructure systems. Last year, it bought Savvis Inc. for approximately $2.7 billion for its collection of cloud products, collocation and managed hosting cloud services. Aside from Savvis Inc., they also bought Qwest Communications in a deal worth $10.6 billion. These acquisitions pretty much reveal CTL’s efforts to position themselves in the cloud computing business, perhaps to rival other telco behemoths like Verizon and Terremark.
Rackspace (RAX) is the co-creator of the highly popular OpenStack open source cloud Operating System. They currently provide traditionally managed hosting, public cloud Platform as a Service (PAAS), and Hybrid cloud services that blend the two technologies together. This company grew their revenues last year in the double digits from $629 million to $1.3 billion.
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) created Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2002 to sell its excess computing capacity. Fast forward to today, and that small division has grown to become the dominant player in the public cloud computing business. AWS is being used as Amazon’s cloud where customers’ data, like ebooks, movies, songs, etc. are being stored and managed. Currently, AWS is estimated to be a $6 billion company that has a strong foothold in the cloud computing business.
Google Inc. (GOOG) is not going to be left behind in the cloud computing business. Aside from offering cloud computing platforms, they are slowly but surely moving most of their services into the cloud. Google Docs, for example, is their real-time document collaboration tool that lets you store all your documents, presentations, spreadsheets, etc online. They are slowly converting this tool into Google Drive, a cloud-based file storage and sharing suite (up to 5GB of data) that is pretty much like Dropbox. In a move to secure its dominant position in both the mobile and cloud market, Google just recently bought Quickoffice, a popular provider of mobile, cloud-supported, office productivity tools similar to Microsoft Office.
These companies are currently the top players in the (very promising) cloud computing industry. The idea is to keep them under your radar and do your due diligence before investing in them. Good luck and happy investing!