Cloud Computing Starts to Mature
The emphasis in the cloud is shifting from public to private cloud computing deployments.
Most of the conversation surrounding cloud computing today is focused on offerings that are either defined as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS). The problem with that approach, say the folks at Infosys, is that each of those terms is too self-limiting.
Instead, Samson David, vice president and global head for business platforms at Infosys, argues the real value of cloud computing is going to come from the delivery on discrete sets of business processes that are delivered as a cloud computing service. To that end, Infosys announced that it is rolling out Infosys Edge, a series of platforms delivered via the cloud that address specific business processes.
The Infosys Edge lineup will include Socialedge, Commerceedge, Flypp, Digital Marketing, Billing, Talentedge, Source-to-Pay and Distributor Connect platforms in addition to a series of offerings that will be aimed at specific vertical industries.
The fundamental issue, says David, is that cloud computing really represents a tectonic shift in how information technology is consumed, not just a more efficient way to deliver existing products. Customers are much more interested in what David says is the business outcome that is delivered as a service than they are in the fact that, for example, a remote server can have higher utilization rates because it now supports multiple instances of an application simultaneously.
The IT services companies that understand that fundamental change first, says David, will be the ones to capitalize most on the shift to cloud computing because they will be solving an actual business problem, rather than simply trying to reduce the costs of delivering a particular product or technology.
Interesting enough, while Infosys is interested in delivering discrete business processes via the cloud, David says the company has no current plan for business process management (BPM) tools, instead preferring to let customers deploy their own BPM tools on premise that would invoke the Infosys services.
While it's too early to say what impact cloud computing will ultimately have on business or IT, it's clear that we're starting to scratch the surface of what is possible in the cloud. The question that still needs to be answered in the meantime is to what degree do companies really want to leverage discrete sets of processes that they would then have to orchestrate, versus trying to create some sort of competitive advantage by building those services themselves? Chances are that over time more companies are going to bet on the former rather than the latter simply because every time they reinvent a wheel, more often than not, they are just slowing their time to market.