By Mark Skilton, Capgemini
I woke up this morning to CNN reporting on “Cloud Computing” and running a series of news bulletins this week on the subject. I think this was triggered by the Apple announcement of iCloud at the San Francisco World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC11).
But this was just one of a number of high-profile commercial announcements in the industry that is seeing a convergence and shift to Cloud as a business model. This week, Google announced Chromebook with partners Samsung and Acer, providing a fully integrated, Web-only, laptop-style implementation of their ChromeOS.
I noted the CNN reporter asked the question, “What is Cloud Computing?” The irony of the moment was that the interviewee was speaking from a video link using Skype: Skype being an example of Cloud usage in our everyday lives. The reporter followed up with the next most talked-about problem of security and connectivity when all your data and services are not on your laptop or mobile cell phone. Yes, there are still issues with performance bandwidth and WiFi coverage, and security will continue to be a challenge. But as demonstrated by the virtual business models of Apple and Google, these challenges are not prohibitory.
In fact, the bigger questions now being posed are how crowded the Cloud is getting, and that cyber turf wars may be underway to grab sizable parts of the Cloud-based business through establishing Cloud platforms like iCloud and Chromebook. I turned to my iPad to read the FT.com daily news and found an article which raised this very point, titled, “Online computing: The crowded cloud” (dated June 3, 2011). I recommend reading it.
Mark Skilton, Director, Capgemini, is the Co-Chair of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group. He has been involved in advising clients and developing of strategic portfolio services in Cloud Computing and business transformation. His recent contributions include the publication of Return on Investment models on Cloud Computing widely syndicated that achieved 50,000 hits on CIO.com and in the British Computer Society 2010 Annual Review. His current activities include development of a new Cloud Computing Model standards and best practices on the subject of Cloud Computing impact on Outsourcing and Off-shoring models and contributed to the second edition of the Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Off-shoring published through his involvement with Warwick Business School UK Specialist Masters Degree Program in Information Systems Management.