Cloud Computing to save the world?

13 09 2011

Can cloud computing save us from going into the red?

In January 2011 at the Davos World Economic Forum, Switzerland attendees have indicated that via Cloud Computing services/technology the world will be pulled out of the current recession. Strong words you may think but the world’s economic leaders are apparently using the Cloud phenomenon as “the third industrial revolution”. Its’ importance to the future of the world’s economy cannot be understated.

A freelance editor, Frank Booty, on Cloud recently stated “The Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) reckons that the expected upcoming Cloud adoption will bring the top five EU economies a €763 billion infusion over the next five years, creating 2.4 million jobs in the process. Back up confirmation can be found through analyst cohorts speculating that a fifth of all companies will not own their IT infrastructure by 2012, but be in the Cloud. The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) emphasises the utility angle, indicating that in 2016 IT will become the next utility, being bought like electricity, gas or water.”

As a result, I believe strongly that Cloud Computing issues will continue to be “hot” and a valid topic for debate at industry events during 2011-12.

As reported on Cloud Vision, “In 2011 there will be some significant announcements about mainstream organisations adopting new Infrastructure as a Service propositions as an alternative to the Amazon Elastic Cloud. Last October HP announced that it was partnering with French alternative telecom provider SFR to offer competitive IaaS services to its 1400 business customers. The new services will utilise SFR’s datacentres and come with end to end Quality of Service guarantees and integrated billing. The opening of the infrastructure market and the introduction of new standard APIs such as OpenStack will make it possible for Cloud “spot pricing” where businesses can trade their excess computing capacity aided by Cloud Storage Brokers.”

The Telcos have been stung by the thin revenues gained from the “Over the Top” Cloud services such as Apples AppStore and want to leverage their own assets to generate new revenue streams from business Cloud services. These assets include reliable communications (the fixed and mobile operators can provide 24/7 end-to-end service monitoring backed by SLAs), long term billing relationships enabling Cloud services to be bundled with other services onto a single bill and customer location intelligence. The leading Telcos have been gradually assembling a team of IT specialists and are also establishing partnerships with the leading IT services companies.

What needs to be thoroughly thrashed out are the security and resilience pros and cons of community, private and public cloud services for public bodies. The ENISA report suggests that national governments and EU institutions should investigate the concept of an EU Governmental Cloud. For the report and recommendations go to: http://www.enisa.europa.eu/act/rm/emerging-and-future-risk/deliverables/security-and-resilience-in-governmental-clouds/

There is the opinion that a national Cloud strategy would have to address the effects of national/supra-national interoperability and inter-dependencies, and cascading failures. It would need also to include Cloud providers into the reporting schemes of articles 4 and 13 of the new Telecom Framework Directive. So much to figure out and a lot at stake. Who will be the winners and losers? Will the Cloud bring economic salvation?

All the signs are that 2011 will be a breakthrough year for Cloud Computing adoption by Enterprises, Telecoms and Government. It’s certainly got a good start with the Davos accreditation.

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