7 Cloud Differentiators

The cloud (and I mean the “public cloud”) is quite different from previous high tech industry trends for two fundamental reasons:

  1.  Cloud affects the broadest range of customers ever, appealing to businesses, developers, and consumers all over the world;
  2. Cloud services are perhaps the most customer-driven solutions in the history of any industry.

Here’s a summary of cloud differentiators:

1. Cloud scale and scope promise lower costs and greater agility

  • Apps delivered via the cloud (SaaS) cross many lines of business and include Collaboration, CRM, SFA, HCM, and Expense Management.
  • Mission-critical apps requiring more efficient and scalable compute or storage resources are migrating to the cloud, particularly as customer fears regarding security, performance, and availability subside.

2. Passionate developer community

  • Developer forums, blogs, and other cloud ISV communities are adamant about collaborating and sharing best practices in order to tackle and solve business problems

3. Customers expect a rich end user experience and high level of performance

  • In cloud “culture,” customers expect a robust online experience, period.
  • Cloud service providers (CSPs) are proving that they can execute IT services more cost-effectively and flexibly than customers can on-premise.

4. Cloud solutions are services, not hardware or software products, so SLAs must be earned daily by CSPs

  • Cloud solutions are delivered as services that take into consideration a customer’s specific data and business process needs.
  • Unlike on-premise apps running on local hardware, cloud services are more transferrable, so customers can switch to another CSP when faced with inadequate service levels.

5. Open source accelerates innovation and lowers software licensing costs

  • Two open source projects have emerged in the cloud:
    • The OpenStack Foundation, which has 2,700 developers and over 150 member companies, is dedicated to open source code for massively scalable and interoperable cloud compute, storage, and networking;
    • Citrix’s CloudStack solution is the first cloud platform to be submitted to the Apache Software Foundation and has similar goals as OpenStack. Citrix boasts 30,000 community members and hundreds of production clouds.
  • Historically, open source movements have increased the pace of innovation and lowered software licensing costs considerably.
  • David Linthicum’s recent post offers a description of OpenStack and CloudStack.

6. Cloud helps meet the demands of explosive data growth and analytics

  • Cloud storage services can help businesses better manage the multi-terabyte capacity needs of unstructured data, like social media, or other “big data.”
  • Big data clouds are emerging to help businesses perform predictive analytics on all kinds of data, providing management with valuable operational insights.
  • If you have interest in learning more about predictive analytics topics in the cloud, please check out:  The Cloud Analytics Summit

7. Mobility apps delivered via the cloud are driving exponential productivity gains for consumers

  • Hundreds of millions of consumers are taking advantage of the convenience and productivity of smart devices and apps enabled by the “anytime, anywhere cloud.”

Finally, to learn more about how cloud trends are impacting businesses, click here to read this Gartner report.

We’d like to hear from you. For example, is the shift to cloud a seminal shift in IT, or is it just hype? We look forward to your comments (below).
Ed Lucente Network Application and Cloud Solutions Application Sales Executive AT&T About Ed