But Manca says even if there are emerging standards in the industry, vendors don't necessarily have an incentive to embrace them, forcing customers to just integrate clouds at the API layer, which does not provide the same level of interoperability compared to if there was baked-in compatibility among cloud providers.
Tim Koundais, an IBM cloud evangelist, says that functionality is part of the reason IBM joined OpenStack, but he hasn't seen huge customer demand for it yet. "What we're finding is that customers pick a solution," and go with it, he says. "If they have an Amazon cloud, a Google cloud and they want to connect them in with an IBM cloud, then we'll serve that."
The lack of standards, interoperability and perceptions around performance are some of the issues why organizations have been slow to move large amounts of production workloads to the cloud. Instead, many organizations are using the cloud as a development and test environment to explore cloud opportunities, Koundais says.
The fact is, as Klickstein points out, the cloud just may not be ready for all business verticals, such as healthcare, even as the industry continues to mature.
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.