Several years back, a colleague asked if I thought cloud computing would ever ‘live up to the hype.’ I remember replying that we’d look back in 10 years and say the opportunity was much, much bigger than the hype. The move to the cloud is the most fundamental technology shift I’ve seen in my investing career—and shifts of this magnitude are rarely quick, and never painless.
Inevitably, somewhere between euphoric inception and long-awaited realization, the shine begins to look a bit tarnished. (Remember when no one thought commerce would work on the web?) But there is always a tipping point, and I believe we’ve reached it with cloud computing.
One by one, the barriers to cloud adoption have crumbled. Bandwidth and storage are no longer bottlenecks. The wireless internet is pervasive, spurred by the rise of tablets and smart phones and skyrocketing mobile adoption rates. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications are proliferating, enterprise adoption of cloud-based infrastructure is increasing, and there is an ever-growing menu of APIs for point-to-point integration.
Furthermore, wireless devices plus cloud-based applications wreak havoc on traditional models for security, networking and just about everything else in the enterprise data center—including getting all those moving parts to work together. With this explosion of endpoints, integration is an immense opportunity in enterprise technology today—not just integration between cloud applications, but between cloud and on-premise applications and systems as well. Enter MuleSoft—the integration platform that brings it all together.
APIs are the driving force behind MuleSoft’s new Anypoint™ Platform, in response to the sheer volume of APIs and the connectivity requirements that encompass both cloud and on-premise architecture. The number of open APIs has doubled in volume every year—from just a handful in 2005 to more than 13,000 today, with hundreds of thousands projected in just a few years. Seamless business processes between applications, data sources and APIs is critical, and MuleSoft is positioned to meet and scale with the demand.
Incumbents, once the backbone of the enterprise data center, are frankly not positioned to lead this wave of next-generation architecture. In most cases, it would be detrimental to their business model even if they could adapt their antiquated technology to a modern cloud architecture--something most experts think is nearly impossible. And, of course, the action in the enterprise infrastructure space is in the cloud, not the data center. CIOs are recognizing that the cure is no longer worse than the disease, and the result is a whole new class of customers and a whole new class of startups. Among MuleSoft’s customers are companies that are helping to shape these seismic shifts in consumer and enterprise technology, like Box, along with corporate giants like WalMart and MasterCard. This reimagining of data center architecture, which began at Internet companies like Google and Amazon, is now taking root across every type of enterprise, from cutting edge to common thread.
Late last year we brought together about 50 companies, many from within our portfolio, for a Service Provider Summit. The idea was to bring together players in this new ecosystem and get them connected, especially where they overlap or are working toward a common goal. It’s these companies who will create the “New Enterprise” and I’m excited about the role MuleSoft can play in delivering on the long-awaited (but never overstated) promise of cloud computing.