By Angel Diaz
In my 20 years of experience in IT I have seen nothing moved as rapidly or with such market disruption as cloud computing. I’ve witnessed the emergence of the Web, the growth of HTML and the transformational introduction of e-business. With each technology shift there are those organizations that evolve, embrace change and thrive – and those that do not. When a technology as dynamic and fast moving as cloud takes off, the ability to journey with it, remaining nimble and flexible as it evolves, is key.
Such flexibility requires open standards.
Those clients that avoid vendor lock-in now when it is so early in the cloud evolution enjoy the freedom to change with it over time.Today, public cloud services still account for only $131B of the overall $3.7T IT market. But overall, cloud computing is the fastest growing piece of the market, according to the pundits. That growth will be accelerated by open standards that allow interoperability, data portability and a vendor agnostic model. Proprietary clouds lock organizations into a specific standard, meaning fewer options and greater vulnerability to price hikes and technology obsolescence over time.
We’ve seen game changing technologies before – and each time the open source and open standards model prevails. It’s a key reason why IBM is such an adamant supporter of OpenStack, a three-year-old global collaboration of developers and companies producing an open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.
For governments in particular, the biggest danger is making the mistakes of the last era of computing again by recreating data silos and locking into proprietary vendor dead ends. It’s an expensive endeavor, and one that will cost taxpayers (and shareholders of corporations) for years down the road.
More and more, forward looking governments and companies are embracing open standards in cloud computing. These organizations recognize the potential of cloud to transform their operations. They are ready to leverage cloud technology for growth, but want to remain free to shift strategy and change course in the future.
Today’s clouds must be open – much like the Internet itself – for the cloud of tomorrow to deliver on its promise of innovation.