IBM first announced a competency center in Cloud Computing, then a Certification over the past couple of weeks. Well, I guess the old Druid Priests of Mainframes should recognize the resurrection of their old God TimeSharing. Here we are, back and rested from the Breast of Gaia, Greener than Green (Drum Roll Please…….): Cloud Computing! (Cloud Computing quickly adjusts his costume makeover to hide Ye Olde TimeSharing’s wrinkled roots) Yes! here I am fresh, new, exciting, Web 2.0, Chrome Ready! With me are the only guys (Big Smile from IBM!) who can Certify and Consult in My Mysteries…. IBM!
The more things change the more they stay the same, but this pushes the Great Hype Engine to a new high (or low..ha ha ha). I can understand IBM wanting to jump on the Cloud Computing bandwagon, but are we really ready for a certification? No one is really sure what is in the Cloud, or how it operates, but IBM is ready to lock it and load it. Yep, they are Certifiable! (ha ha ha!). While one can admire the desire to define and take a stand on Cloud Computing; this is one topic that requires a bit more “cook time” before full scale avarice takes hold.
Cloud Computing to too “cloudy” and “amorphous” to define today. While expertise and advice is required, there needs to be more independent vetting and best-of-breed component level competitions. Full solution demo platforms need to be put together to elicit ideas and act as pilots. Case studies need to spring from these efforts as well as early adopters before an organization bets the farm on a Cloud solution. The existing ERP platforms did not come into being overnight and these solutions have an element of their interdepency and complexity (Rome was not built in a day!). All of the elements of backup, disaster recoverability, auditability, service level assurance, and security need to be in place before there can be a total buy in to the platform. The reputation of Cloud Computing does hang in the balance, all that is required is one high visibility failure to set things back for potentially years (especially given the current macro environment).
Above all at this stage, a certain level of independence is required for evaluation and construction of possible solutions. Evolution mandates independent competition (Nature Red of Tooth and Claw, Cage Fighting, Yes!). Maturity brings vendor ecosystems and the all consuming Application Stack, but not yet. More innovation is required, we may not even have heard of the start-up who could win this game.