CIO Cloud Computing: What The Future Holds

by drjim on August 5, 2009

When CIOs Look Into Cloud Computing's Future, What Do They See?

When CIOs Look Into Cloud Computing's Future, What Do They See?

Cloud computing is hot – there’s no denying that. However, as with all things in the information technology field, cloud computing isn’t standing still. Even as  you read these words, engineers are hard at work defining and refining just exactly what a cloud computing architecture looks like and how it behaves. Let’s take a peek at what the future holds…

Where The New Ideas Are Being Born

Although cloud computing research is going on in a number of small start-ups as well as at universities world-wide, the work that is being followed the closest is that which is being done by the very large firms. Here’s a quick run down of what they are doing:

  • HP /Intel / Yahoo: These three powerhouses have come together to launch the Cloud Research Testbed. The goal is to allow academic researchers to have access to supercomputing resources in order to try out new ideas such as computing chips that have been designed for cloud computing.
  • IBM Research: IBM has taken the global approach and launched its Research Compute Cloud. This cloud will be used to support business processes.

The 5-Year Plan

Something that has helped to propel cloud computing to the forefront of discussion in many IT departments is the simple fact that due to the economic downturn, there is no money left to design and build expensive computing architecture.

IT has for too long been seen as a department that simply maintains computing “boxes”. This adds very little value to the rest of the firm. It’s expected that small and midsized firms are going to be the ones jumping on the cloud computing bandwagon. The larger firms are expected to be setting up their own private clouds and only using public clouds when they temporarily need the extra capacity.

Improvements in cloud computing both this year and in the next few years should center around moving your applications from one cloud to another, have companies communicate better while in the cloud, and even sharing data in the cloud.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the best way to think about cloud computing is probably to view it as being yet another type of application deployment architecture. The real boon will be to software developers who will no longer be shackled by limited availability of computing hardware.

If the challenges that cloud computing is facing today, such as security, can be overcome then CIOs that discover how to best make use of this new resource will have found yet another way to enable the rest of the company to grow quicker, move faster, and do more.

Questions For You

Do you think that Yahoo and IBM are in a race to be the ones to define the cloud computing standards? Do you think that large firms will be successful in building their own private clouds? When do you think that public clouds will be “ready for prime time” and firms will start to use them over building out their own infrastructure? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It can be a long and lonely journey through a recession for anyone, including CIOs. The company’s very survival may be at stake, the CIO’s job may be at risk, and of course there is that big unanswered question about what needs to be done to prepare for life AFTER the recession is over. Maybe Cisco’s John Chambers can offer us some insights…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Govind Davis, MCF Tech August 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm

In one of our recent blogs we talk about cloud computing being analogous to Caribbean colonialism. At the moment there is a real sense of openness and opportunity in cloud IT because the infrastructure costs are so much lower. However in reality web services are still running on someone’s hardware and across someone’s wires and the big business guys have to know that capturing share of the cloud is where the future $’s are in IT.

At the moment we do a lot of work on Intuit’s cloud offering QuickBase but are always evaluating what other service PaaS, SaaS can offer value. We also use Amazon Web Services which I guess is more in the IaaS arena.

I’m curious to see in 5 years who the super powers are going to be. It’s naive to think that a power grab won’t occur, it’s just not clear who is going to come out on top.

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Dr. Jim Anderson August 7, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Govind: so here’s the question – is anything really going to be different? Today if you want to run a large-scale application you need to have your very own data center. Only a few firms can afford to do this. The arrival of clouds opens the door to just about anyone developing and running very large applications cheaply. I do agree that in 5 years we’ll only have a few superpowers of cloud providers left…

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