As introduced in Raghu Raghuram’s October biztech2.com post (“ItaaS, Cloud Will Make Tech More Business-Centric”), we shouldn't be burying our heads in the sand: cloud computing's value is going to come from the fact it is a business-centric model, while previous infrastructure models have focused on technology's evolution as the major goal.
A good engine is important, but nothing happens if you do not have gas to fuel it and wheels to move. Gas is the service, and wheels are the potential customers.
Let me give you my personal view more precisely in this post.
the game has changed thanks to COTS and virtualization
As explained in my previous post, the move to COTS and virtualization, driven by the trend for economical rationalization (not to mention savings), has driven cloud computing and the feasability of the on-demand paradigm.
Around 2000, the IT industry shifted from being driven by technology to being driven by business. This explains the incredibly fast rise of cloud computing stars, using the technology available only as a tool to provide added value to the end-user.
business or more general use cases are the engine of the growth
Despite the fact that cloud architectural layers (shall we say "atmosphere computing"?) are critical to the resulting services, the real end-user value resides in the service, not the underlying mechanics. Cloud leaders today, who, by the way, are generally fairly young companies, have been able to master either the content, which is critical for the mass market distribution; the quality and reliability of the business processes generation, control and delivery through sophisticated, but not yet standard APIs.
The interoperability and the ability to schedule multiple business processes over different cloud architectures is key to succeed in creating new and valuable services and use cases. They have to be near-real time, dynamically scheduled, reliable, secure, predictable and easy to monitor and invoice.
This is a huge challenge today, and it is a priority for the cloud community to define multi-scheduling and interoperability standards to sustain the growth of the model.
Imagine a 24/7 connected world, based on top-notch networks providing adequate bandwith and quality of service anywhere in the world, giving the ability to execute anything on any device. A new service, as Google Maps did in the past, or Angry birds for kids (maybe not only kids) can spread around the world much faster. This translates to a huge potential for innovation at a global scale and, consequently, huge ROIs.
Monetizing a given heterogeneous and dynamic business process or cloud application in sharing revenues between actors delivering the service may be part of the solution.
Last but not least, are the actors of the industry ready to cooperate to build the standards enabling the total interoperability instead of targeting monopolistic positions?
photo credit: © N-Media-Images - Fotolia.com
Passionate about physics and specializing in numerical simulations, I started my career with 3D simulations of turbulent flows and spatial trajectory. To learn more about the parallel computing architecture used in computational science, I worked with hardware manufacturers in the US and Europe, where I saw firsthand the development of grid computing and cloud computing. I am a technical and commercial expert in cloud solutions, currently focusing on Cloud Business Development by working with my network in the IT world.