The Ultimate Arbiter of Cloud Computing

Michael Vizard

When it comes to cloud computing, it's pretty apparent that we're rapidly heading toward commodity services. Obviously, most cloud computing services can't survive by merely trying to compete on scale. So how will cloud computing services try to differentiate themselves?


Savvis chief technology officer Bryan Doerr says it will all come down to how effectively each cloud computing service provider can execute policies and how flexible that provider is in adapting its policy engines to each customer's specific needs.


This higher level of cloud computing, however, could create a quandary for customers. To really take advantage of it, IT organizations will need some fairly robust IT processes in place before they can think about either automating them on their own or using a cloud computing provider. The cloud computing provider, however, might be eager enough to get the business that it will re-engineer the customer's application environment to secure the recurring revenue afforded by the cloud computing contract. After all, it's in the best interest of the provider to modernize the customer's IT environment, given that the provider now will bear the support costs.

Of course, not all cloud computing providers will be able to do this. Nor are most of them likely to have sophisticated policy engines in place that can adapt to the needs of multiple customers. In fact, once you start analyzing the multitude of cloud computing providers in the market, it becomes apparent that few possess the business process and IT skills required to take cloud computing to next level.

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Dec 4, 2009 9:14 AM gregor petri gregor petri  says:

Mike, May I rephrase your concerns as a car analogy.  You are afraid that: 1) today's car factories (cloud customers) are not structured and organized enough to source many of the parts they traditionally manufactured from part suppliers and 2) that these part suppliers (cloud computing providers) are not agile enough  to offer the many different variants of parts the customer needs in a timely and flexible fashion.  I think you may be right. 

It took the car industry half a century to go from a vertically integrated T-Ford assembly line via Just-in-Time, KanBan and Total Quality to what today is called Lean Manufacturing. At I posted my thoughts on how Lean IT can help mature cloud computing, both for vendors and customers.

Gregor Petri  


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