February 23, 2011, 6:28 PM — The mounting pressure to move IT resources to the cloud has added a layer of complexity to the already complex job of a CIO.
To address tricky cloud migrations, Microsoft posted a blog listing five key themes that the company is hearing from IT leaders considering moving parts of their business to a cloud platform. Two standout themes are the desire for a long-term commitment from a cloud provider and assurance of security and privacy.
Yet another theme on the minds of CIOs, according to blog writer Ron Markezich, corporate VP of Microsoft Online, is defining what a cloud vendor should be: a service provider or a business partner?
Businesses overwhelmingly want a partner with a proven enterprise track record who can lay out a long-term roadmap, writes Markezich. In a separate post this week, Markezich goes a step further by calling out Microsoft cloud rival Google as an enterprise wannabe with commitment issues.
Microsoft is clearly feeling Google's footsteps. Last fall the search giant announced that it has 3 million Google Apps business customers.
Microsoft's latest blog post wants to remind IT buyers that it is "all in" for the cloud and has decades more enterprise acumen than that feisty Internet search company named Google.
Microsoft's apprehension is understandable. The software giant has been winning cloud deals with government agencies and enterprises to use its BPOS suite of cloud services for e-mail, collaboration and productivity apps (now called Office 365). But in December, Google beat out Microsoft for a whopper contract with the GSA for $6.7 million over five years to migrate 17,000 government employees off different versions of IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino software to Google Apps.
Additionally, Google has landed contracts with state government agencies such as the state of Wyoming and in November Google filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, claiming that the DOI's bidding process for a contract worth $49.3 million over five years unfairly benefited Microsoft.