While there's general agreement that some level of cloud computing adoption in the enterprise is inevitable, there seems to be a fair amount of devil still in the details.
If it was left up to every cloud computing service provider, every relationship between the supplier of the cloud computing service and the customer would basically be exclusive. But in reality, customers are going to want to see an ecosystem of cloud computing services from multiple vendors that will allow them to dynamically allocate various jobs based on the capabilities and pricing offered by the cloud computing service. To accomplish that, IT organizations are going to have to deploy something that functions like a cloud computing broker at the edge of the enterprise.
One company building just such as broker is Vordel, which got its start by building an XML-based network management system. Now Vordel is in the early stages of expanding that concept into a cloud computing broker that not only tracks metered pricing of cloud computing services, but makes sure certain communications are encrypted, that another service can be invoked in event of a failure, and that all service level agreements (SLAs) are met.
According to Vordel CTO Mark O'Neill, in order to engender the development of a cloud computing ecosystem that acts like a true marketplace, IT organizations are going to need to be able to track and audit trail across those services.
The good news is with the advent of offerings such as Spot Services from Amazon, the concept of bidding for time on a cloud computing service is already upon us. Now all we have to do is get to the next level : reverse auctions where cloud computing providers bid to fulfill compute jobs for the lowest rate.