It’s no big surprise that people are still asking, "What is the cloud?" A concept this broad and with so many ramifications for all manner of enterprise architecture cannot possibly confine itself to any easy definition.
Organisations adopting cloud computing – whether internal, external or hybrid – still face a number of problems, according to Herb VanHook, vice president of strategy at BMC.
"Not all cloud providers are created equal," he said, referring to fundamental differences in their offerings, such as the way Rackspace will supply a bare virtual machine but Amazon will not. Furthermore, providers have their own APIs, and BMC’s management software can only abstract them to the extent the services are similar. This makes workload portability challenging.
Right now, there’s a lot of focus on the public cloud versus private clouds, but there’s a good chance that long term, organizations will want to embrace both. And why not? There are some things you want to keep in-house, but certainly being able to acquire a bit of extra boost from a public cloud would be a nice cost-cutting feature.
Admittedly, this is a model few are capable of considering at this point. But it’s worth remembering, whether you’re trying public or private, that at some point, you may want to have both.
I’ve been writing about sustainability as a natural outgrowth of CRM for a couple of years now. I know it takes time to refine a message—and, since the message of sustainability represents a major market turn, it has to be done right. But there’s been scant progress thus far, and certainly not enough.
By “sustainability” I mean using CRM to help organizations reduce the cost of business processes and increase revenues along three specific dimensions:
Cloud computing has produced many benefits to the small and medium-sized business, one of the most powerful being the ease of mobility. Using cloud computing, businesses can now allow their employees to work anywhere from any device allowing them greater productivity, flexibility, and an overall competitive advantage.
VMware’s channel chief said solution providers looking to get in early on cloud computing can do so relatively painlessly in a five-step process, and that his company will introduce new competencies to help them on the way.
There is still plenty of time for solution providers to take advantage of the movement towards cloud computing and to make good money doing so, said Carl Eschenbach, executive vice president of worldwide field operations.
"We do not believe solution providers should be afraid of the cloud," Eschenbach said. "There’s a lot of money to be made."
They say good things come to those who wait — and wait is what attendees did on Sunday evening here at the start of this year’s Oracle OpenWorld conference. Eventually, however, Larry Ellison, the company’s cofounder and chief executive officer, introduced Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, a "cloud in a box," that brings together Oracle hardware and software at an extremely fast performance rate.
[Editors’ Note: CRM‘s compendium of relevant links and coverage from Oracle OpenWorld 2010 can be found here.]