Just one year ago, industry reports heralded that 30 percent of businesses were utilizing cloud, and that cloud adoption was moving forward at exponential rates http://www.businesscloudnews.com/platform-as-a-service/205-cloud-use-by-tech-companies-rises-29.html. These same surveys also pointed to sizable percentages of C-level executives who remained concerned with cloud, especially in the areas of governance and security.
The concerns have lessened in 2012, as more enterprises now understand the concepts of private, public and hybrid clouds and how they want to apply them. In fact, the understanding of cloud has grown so dramatically that only last week, the CEO of a company with less than 100 employees was telling me about the company’s plan to implement its own private cloud.
Why should SMB private cloud adoption matter to enterprises?
Because many enterprises have more than their own immediate IT infrastructures and cloud plans to think about. In some cases, enterprises have “SMB-sized” satellite branches, subsidiaries, or even other organizations that they have recently acquired. Many of these organizations have their own IT, and increasingly this IT is going to include private cloud.
Vendors aren’t blind to the emerging market preference for private clouds, either—or the fact that organizations of many different sizes prefer private clouds.
In late February, IBM presented a new reference configuration for SmartCloud Entry. SmartCloud Entry is a simple way to get started with cloud capabilities like automation, provision, administration with approvals and self-service. It is designed to assist business partners with adapting IBM SmartCloud technology for their customers in areas such as business applications, collaboration, development and test tools, infrastructure services, security and monitoring. The program gives business partners a head start in ramping up for a cloud market that could be over $214 billion by 2020 (Forrester Research Inc., "Sizing The Cloud, Understanding And Quantifying The Future Of Cloud Computing, by Stefan Ried, Ph.D., Holger Kisker, Ph.D., April 21, 2011).
“The IBM Systems and Technology Group (STG) relies heavily on its business partners in sales and revenue efforts, and we recognize that we have to enable them,” said Sam Werner, Director of STG Cloud Strategy. “When we originally launched our cloud offerings, some of the solutions were complex and highly advanced. Now, we have more entry-level offerings for people who are getting started with cloud….There isn’t so much effort required in developing cloud skills.”
Werner talks about a set of hardware, networking, systems software and cloud management best practices at an entry price point of $60,000. “This was a segment of the market that we were not reaching, and we recognized that we needed a lower price point,” he said.
The simplification works—as does the prepackaging of cloud technology and best practices that can assure organizations of the initial success of their private cloud implementations. This is cloud by way of subtraction—because it takes the anxiety out of the equation for CIOs, COOs, CEOs and others charged with making sure that private cloud technology works in itself and for the business.
Mary E. Shacklett is president of Transworld Data, a technology research and marketing/public relations firm. Her technology experience includes positions as vice president of Software Development at Summit Information Systems, a financial systems software company, and vice president of Strategic Planning and Technology at FSI International, a multi-national semiconductor company. She has been actively involved in the publishing industry for more than 20 years as an editor and writer. Voice: 360-956-9536; Email: TWD_Transworld@msn.com