Is Cloud Computing a “Buyers’ Market?”

By Mark Skilton, Global Director at Capgemini

At the Open Group Cannes Conference, a session we are providing is on the topic of “Selecting and Delivering Successful Cloud Products and Services.” This is an area that comes up frequently in establishing costs and benefits of on-demand solutions using the term Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing terms have been overhyped in terms of their benefits and have saturated the general IT marketplace with all kinds of information systems stating rapid scalable benefits. Most of this may be true in the sense that readily available compute or storage capacity has commoditized in the infrastructure space. Software has also changed in functionality such that it can be contractually purchased now on a subscription basis. Users can easily subscribe to software that focuses on one or many business process requirements covering virtually all core and non-core business activities from productivity tools, project management, and collaboration to VOIP communication and business software applications all in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model.

I recently heard in conversation a view stating “Cloud Computing, it’s a buyers’ market,” meaning that customers and consumers could just pick their portfolio of software and hardware. But underlying this concept there are still some questions about using a commoditized approach to solving all your enterprise system’s needs.

Is this the whole story, when typically many organizations may seek competitive differentiation in user experience, unique transaction and functional business services? It’s ultimately more a commodity view of Cloud that matches commodity type requirements and functional needs of a customer. But, it does not fit the other 50 percent of customers who want Cloud products and characteristics but not a commodity.

The session in The Open Group Conference, Cannes on April 25 will cover the following key questions:

  • How to identify the key steps in a Cloud Products and Services selection and delivery lifecycle, avoiding tactical level decisions resulting in Cloud solution lock-in and lock-out in one or more of the stages?
  • How Cloud consumers can identify where Cloud products and services can augment and improve their business models and capabilities?
  • How Cloud providers can identify what types of Cloud products and services they can develop and deliver successfully to meet consumer and market needs?
  • What kinds of competitive differentiators to look for in consumer choice and in building providers’ value propositions?
  • What security standards, risk and certifications expertise are needed complement understanding Cloud Products and service advice?
  • What kinds of pricing, revenue and cost management on-demand models are needed to incentivize and build successful Cloud products and service consumption and delivery?
  • How to deal with contractual issues and governance across the whole lifecycle of Cloud Product and services from the perspectives of consumers and providers?

 Mark Skilton is Global Director for Capgemini, Strategy CTO Group, Global Infrastructure Services. His role includes strategy development, competitive technology planning including Cloud Computing and on-demand services, global delivery readiness and creation of Centers of Excellence. He is currently author of the Capgemini University Cloud Computing Course and is responsible for Group Interoperability strategy.

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