The folks at Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) think that most vendor and IT services companies have it wrong when it comes to cloud computing.
Rather than focusing primarily on infrastructure or application development platforms, CSC is unfurling a cloud computing roadmap that focuses on business process first, and then the appropriate cloud computing technologies needed to drive them.
According to Siki Giunta, the recently appointed head of cloud services for CSC, most customers are looking for a more strategic approach to cloud computing. In response, CSC's Trusted Cloud Services roadmap includes an application-development platform, a cloud offering based on Microsoft Exchange and an application store where customers can provision applications and services through a self-service portal.
To back that up, CSC is dedicating seven data centers -- three in the United States, three in Europe and one in Asia -- to provide those services.
Giunta says one of customers' biggest problems is figuring out which applications can effectively run in the cloud and the IT governance implications of making such a move.
To help customers sort that out, CSC is also providing cloud computing assessment services, which Giunta admits is as much in the interest of CSC to perform as the customer. After all, if the application is not well-suited to the cloud, then CSC will bear the burden of managing that application.
Giunta says the majority of existing enterprise applications are not particularly well-suited to run in the cloud. That means the many of these applications will have to be re-engineered before customers can truly take advantage of both the flexibility and economics of cloud computing.
Although cloud computing is expected to be a $148 billion market by 2014, it may take most IT organizations a few years to get beyond relatively simple applications such as backup and recovery or e-mail. And while many organizations are also expected to focus on business processes in the cloud, it seems that most IT organizations are taking the same piecemeal approach to the cloud that characterized their enterprise computing systems.