Thursday, 12 May 2011

Eduserv Symposium. Situation normal, everything must change

Am at the Eduserv symposium on Virtualisation and the Cloud. Will try and blog the sessions again, but not sure if I'll be able to keep up with pace of yesterday - someone just described me as a blogger on speed! Anyway, here goes.

Opening keynote from Simon Wardley from Leading Edge Forum talking about Situation Normal, Everything Must Change.

We don't know what cloud computing is yet, but lots of definitions of it, including some given by the kittens which keep popping up in this talk!

There is a path by which innovations and business activities eventually become a commodity, commoditisation. Because of competition, there's a demand for a constant drive for improvement. Demand and improvement drive commoditisation. It's happening now to computing. Cloud simply reflects the path from product to a utility in computing.

Why now? Some of past barriers to it have gone. to be successful, you the need the concept of utility, suitability, the technology, and most importantly, change in attitude Ie a willingness to adopt new models. As activities evolve and become ubiquitous, they lose their competitive advantage. Then they become suitable to be provided as a standard service eg HR, payroll, finance
So, you need: Concept, Attitude, Technology, Suitability. Conveniently spells cats. There's been a lot of them so far in the slides. Guess you have to be here!

So, it's all down to risks and benefits.
Benefits are economies of scale, ability to focus on core activities, pay for use. Increased efficiencies, which could reduce costs.
Also it will increase agility. Eg time it takes to get a server up and running.
Also increases opportunities for use.
Comoditisation increases rate of innovation. Enables it, and accelerates it. Provides a stable infrastructure base for innovation in higher order systems.
All of these increase consumption. So, get more use, more innovation.....

The risks are mainly associated with transitioning for one model to another and are around confusion, governance, trust, security, transparency.
Outsourcing risks are mainly around competition, lock in, control, suitability.
These are standard to the commoditisation of any utility, not unique to cloud.
To mitigate these risks you need many providers, open APIs and data interchange so you can get your data out.
Also, all providers have to run same system for maximum interoperability.
Will reduce some of outsourcing risks. Some interesting stuff on open source going on in this space.
Hybrid model will reduce some of transitional risks. But comes at a cost including economies of scale. Building a private cloud is expensive. Won't get the benefits, also will have to continually evolve to keep up.

Acceleration of the rate of innovation is the most exciting benefit of cloud.

Commodity services are repeatable, standard, linear in nature.
At other extreme there are chaotic, innovative, dynamic services.
Because things change as they evolve from one to the other, need different techniques eg for project management and organisational structure. One size does not fit all. Same true for outsourcing and cloud.

Innovate, leverage, commoditise.
Pattern used by companies like Google and Amazon.
Cloud is more about new models of management than anything else.

When something moves from product to commodity it's almost always disruptive. Need to manage, and more importantly, leverage this.

Excellent opening session.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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