6 More Truths About Cloud Computing
Why so soon? Because the cloud world is changing that quickly. Here's what's we've learned since May, as explained by panelists and keynoters:
1. Cloud isn't one thing -- and it's not the only thing
That was the thesis of Matt Laslie's morning keynote. As technical director of network technologies for Savvis (Nasdaq: SVVS) (now owned by CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)), he's been supporting a hybrid approach -- not referring to public plus private clouds, but to the mixing of cloud services with whatever else an enterprise uses, including applications that (gasp!) aren't in the cloud.
"If you're an enterprise, it's fine to mix and match and work with your service provider to build a solution that is not necessarily 100 percent cloud," Laslie said.
For Savvis and some other service providers, cloud services aren't much different from other hosted and managed services. So, with some legwork, Savvis mixes all the elements -- connecting a private data center to Savvis-based cloud services via Savvis's MPLS network, for instance.
2. Enterprises are going to be really hard to serve
Small and medium businesses (SMB) have been the easy targets for cloud services: They don't want to own infrastructure and have no IT staff resisting the move to cloud. Now, cloud providers have to figure out how to attract enterprises -- beyond the occasional rogue enterprise division that taps Amazon Web Services Inc. .
"The thing that slows the enterprise adoption of cloud the most is [the thought of] somehow having to change the network configurations or the security policies they have in place," said Ellen Rubin, vice president of cloud products at Verizon Terremark , now part of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
How to get around that? Scott Bils, partner with The Everest Group, suggested tackling a specific business use case for an enterprise, rather than trying to sell "The Cloud." Bils cited one CIO who has ordered his staff to stop talking to vendors about "cloud" altogether, a sign that the hype has reached the eye-rolling stage.
Similarly, Scott Cain, BT Global Services 's chief architect and CTO, explained that his company's sales strategy involves not just targeting vertical markets, but finding specific use cases in those markets.
Another possibility is that service providers start helping enterprises adjust to the cloud. "We definitely see some service providers moving into the IT consulting realm," said David Frattura, senior director of cloud strategy at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).
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