Cloud computing market is starting to look a lot like one big data center

Infrastructure, apps, utilities, plumbing are all there, all owned by different companies

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Cloud companies are a lot better and imagery, perception and marketing than internal IT people, though.

They know business users would rather not see any of that, and rightly so (mostly). Users shouldn’t have to learn geek-speak to get their work done.

When business managers need and ERP system faster than IT can deliver, they know they can go rent one themselves; And the ERP landlords know the customers want to see mystery and power, not bits, bytes and bolts.

They understand when it's time to fire up the fog machines, throw open the doors and give the marks a demonstration of unimaginable power hidden in mist that only shows shadows an bright, fuzzy points of magic light where the flashing buttons on scary computers would be, if there were any scary computers in the fog, that is.

Silly.

You don't want to know what all the pieces are, and where they are and how much they cost!

That would only make it a lot more clear that, at some point, the cloud computing industry is going to start consolidating because it's way too expensive for all those companies to keep all that technology going 24/7 under all those layers of abstraction serving customers who come to them for servers and storage and someone else for content distribution and web serving and someone else for security and backup and remote access and more storage and app/dev space and email distribution and...

IT won't go back to being do-it-yourself the way it once was. But cloud computing won't remain a market filled with one-trick-ponies, either. Not even if the ponies are unicorns.

Eventually the standalones are going to consolidate, because it's cheaper for them that way, and the worry most end-user companies have been avoiding about not being able to move VMs or workloads from one cloud to another, not being able to federate security or integrate their own legacy apps or even keep straight how many SAAS apps they actually use, will all come true within a few months.

It won't be the next few months, but it won't be so many that the IT people signing the contracts will be so far into their next jobs or advanced in their careers that treating a whole industry as if it's a design-your-own-data-center cafeteria line won't come back to haunt them, either.

By next spring the smart money in IT will be worried about problems with consolidation, probably sparked by some high-profile examples of cloud companies buying each other out.

By next fall even second-tier adopters will be worried about the fallout, because talk of consolidation always causes consolidation; vendor CEOs get scared just like CIOs do, and sometimes react just as irrationally.

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