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Cloud Computing – Adding a Fifth Dimension
The cloud will become more complex and diverse

Dan Woods provides an interesting analysis in Forbes, Parsing The Cloud, on where Cloud Computing may be going next. He makes a good case that the cloud will become more complex and diverse. He offers four drivers of this diversity.

First, compliance is going to happen. Governments have already stepped in. The Swiss banking laws dictate that computers storing customer information must be housed inside its borders. Other countries may follow so they can tax, inspect, or otherwise exert control.

Network topology will also affect the speed of data access. Different industries have different speed requirements and this may lead to the market verticalization of clouds.

Levels of services and associated costs will be another driver. Dan suggested that it is even possible that companies wanting the highest quality of service and the least risk of failure will hire a cloud company to create a private label cloud for them.

Dan suggests that a fourth driver will be application and tool expertise. Clouds will develop to run specific types of applications, such as CRM, ERP, supply chain, manufacturing, retail applications, etc. This would further enable teams to move focus away from managing applications, and focus on managing the processes themselves.

However in reading this I would add a fifth item to the menu for cloud apps: reliability. What is the level of testing and validation? How do your know the data coming in is accurate? Are continuous tests part of the process?

With Cloud Computing thought already spanning to government compliance issues and "right sizing" on a per-industry, and possibly per-organization basis, we are going to see a much stronger need to verify that our use of cloud resources is meeting specific business needs in a responsible fashion.

About Jason English
Jason joined iTKO in 2004, bringing more than 15 years of experience in executing marketing plans, re-engineering business processes and meeting customer requirements for companies such as IBM, EDS, Delphi, TaylorMade, Sun, Motorola and Sprint. As Director of eMarketing and Executive Producer, in2action Consulting at i2 Technologies, he was responsible for i2's outbound messaging during a period of extreme growth, as well as marketing services and working directly with clients to build easy-to-learn front ends to B2B systems. Prior to that, he managed customer experience as an Information Architect at Agency.com. Jason scored and designed several internationally released computer games in addition to conventional print advertising and television commercials.

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