Take Grupo Posadas, a large hotel group in Mexico. It has five data centers supporting more than 17,000 guest rooms in over 100 hotels and other lines of business. It runs three of those data centers itself and two others through outsourcing partners.
Posadas CIO Leopoldo Toro Bala said his company plans to sharply reduce its data centers, and will rely on Savvis for cloud-based infrastructure services. Savvis will also provide managed database services.
The move will enable Posadas' IT group to free itself from running infrastructure and focus on developing mobile, social networking and other tools to help the business grow, said Toro Bala.
"Our IT strategy is aligned to our growth, and our growth means that we need to be flexible and agile," he said.
The U.S. is the leader in cloud computing technology, and U.S cloud-based service providers draw customers globally. Some countries have responded with laws to protect domestic providers using FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) campaigns over privacy issues to counter U.S. IT companies, said Daniel Castro, an analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
The international pushback is a major threat to U.S. cloud providers, Castro said. "The potential market for cloud computing is very large, and the U.S. right now is the country that stands to gain the most from it," said Castro. A U.S. House subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held a hearing last week to look at the competitive threats to the cloud computing industry.