The cloud service market is dynamic. It is consistently changing. It offers a wealth of opportunity and hence has become highly congested and competitive. Though consumers are excited about the prospect of embracing greater flexibility at lesser costs, they are confused by bombarding voices propositioning them and sending out messages regarding the ‘must-have’ generic features of the cloud service. There is very little concern among the suppliers about real enterprise needs.
But are all enterprise needs generic? Certainly not! Cloud service vendors who have the pulse of the market, appreciate the real differences underlying the seemingly generic needs. More important they have the pulse of each individual customer and do just what needs to be done by responding generically to the market pulse and specifically to the customer pulse.
The reality is that cloud applications cannot remain generic. They have to be customized, modified and reframed to fit in with the needs of the user. For instance, Google began with Internet Search. Over time enterprises demanded and obtained an Enterprise search appliance. CRM systems became generic and were hosted externally for a time. SalesForce.com now provides internal SalesForce appliances to large enterprise customers. The applications could not remain generic. They had to be modified and redirected to serve customer ends. The paradigm had to shift to accommodate the business rules. It is clear that cloud service innovations will work around the limitations of generic cloud applications and will borrow the positive aspects of the external applications to create internal cloud architectures that are unique to the enterprise.
An increasingly visible trend in the cloud services market is the commoditization of the services and hardware. Smart cloud service provides realize that enabling software technologies are in demand and must be made available to end user on the fly. Hardware is a commodity that can requisitioned on demand and in quantities that are determined by the business needs of the moment. Any legacy architecture that exists within the enterprise can be repurposed to dovetail into this architecture with absolute ease.
In fact, the IT market seems to be poised at the edge of a revolution. The way IT is requisitioned, deployed and managed is changing. Thinking about the way data should be handled is changing. There is an increasing interest in how the particular cloud is architected, a willingness to accept hosted packages and a conscious effort to conserve on costs by migrating to “cloud like” usages on software applications. The opportunities are many. Those who keep their fingers on the pulse of the market and anticipate needs will emerge winners.