Navigating the Cloud Standards Maze – A Focus on the Customer
Shaku Selvakumar 060001XT47 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  cloud smartcloud openstack standards ibmimpact ibm ibmcloud cloud_standards_customer_... cloudcomputing
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Contributed by John Meegan,Senior Consultant, Software Standards. Follow John on Twitter: @jvmeegs
Cloud computing is in the forefront of the minds of CIO, CEOs, CTOs and other senior executives as a vehicle to maximize the value of their IT organizations. After years of hype around cloud, there is little doubt that more and more companies are adopting cloud for real change. To achieve the full value of cloud, companies are driving targeted implementations that deliver real business results. In the majority of customer deployments, there is a strong requirement to aggregate and manage across traditional and cloud delivery models. Potential roadblocks that become top of mind for the CIOs are security, interoperability and vendor lock-in. Standards play a critical role in addressing these issues and broad industry adoption of these standards will help accelerate the true business potential of cloud computing.
To be sure, cloud computing adoption is a journey - and standards efforts mirror that journey. In the beginning, cloud was primarily delivered through public clouds that offered very limited guarantees in terms of service levels and security. As private cloud gains more traction and mission critical services are moved to the cloud, consumers are demanding and willing to pay for greater assurances specified in legally binding Service Level Agreements (SLA). Market forces are dictating that providers be more responsive to the requirements of private cloud adopters else face a significantly diminished role in the cloud provider landscape. Correspondingly, standards will need to be developed to address these emerging requirements.
IBM believes there are two critical elements to the development of successful, broadly adopted cloud standards. The first element is the voice of the customer and the level of input and influence customers have on the standards development process. Standards organizations that promote customer driven requirements and collaboration are much more likely to succeed than those that do not. The second critical element is a practical, code-driven development approach. Standards development based solely on paper specifications is a thing of the past. New standards development requires a strong community of developers that implement and test standards as they’re being defined. Open source communities that encourage broad participation and provide unencumbered access to source code are particularly effective. This new approach results in standards being brought to market more quickly with higher quality implementations.
As an example of IBM’s work to promote customer focused standards development, IBM became a founding sponsor of the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) which was announced in April 2011. The CSCC is an end user advocacy group dedicated to accelerating cloud's successful adoption, and drilling down into the standards, security and interoperability issues surrounding the transition to the cloud. Since the launch, membership has risen from 35 to over 320, which includes consumer companies from various industries. To add your voice to the growing community, become a CSCC member and join the CSCC working group most aligned to your requirements.
In addition to driving standards requirements into the appropriate standards development organizations (SDO), the CSCC creates real, actionable deliverables that companies can use on their own path to cloud adoption. Although customers understand the benefits of cloud computing, they continue to look for guidance to simplify the move from exploration to cloud implementation. To address this need, the CSCC developed the Practical Guide to Cloud Computing, a straightforward document which outlines the steps an enterprise should consider when adopting cloud computing. The goal of the guide is to introduce a repeatable process for identifying and implementing cloud solutions.
As a follow on to the Practical Guide, the CSCC just recently delivered more detailed guidelines for cloud SLAs in the Practical Guide to Cloud Service Level Agreements. This guide highlights the critical elements of a cloud SLA and provides guidance on what to expect and what to be aware of when negotiating an SLA. The guide articulates a set of requirements from a consumer's perspective and identifies elements that need to be addressed via open standards through CSCC's liaison partnerships with key standards development organizations.
IBM is committed to working with key industry organizations like the CSCC to help accelerate the adoption of open cloud computing through understanding the requirements of the cloud consumer. IBM is also a proponent of a practical, code-driven approach to standards development and will actively participate in appropriate open source communities to accelerate standards adoption, as demonstrated by our recent OpenStack announcement.
Join your colleagues at IBM IMPACT on April 30 for a discussion on the state of cloud standards and the important role that the CSCC plays. Melvin Greer, senior fellow and chief strategist, Cloud Computing, Lockheed Martin; chair, CSCC steering committee, and Amy Wohl, principal consultant of Wohl Associates; CSCC steering committee member will lead the discussion and share their perspectives on the cloud computing standards landscape.
Session title: Smarter approach to Cloud Standards: Your voice matters
Abstract: Cloud Computing continues to quickly evolve and it is critical to inject the voice of the consumer to chart the direction. Understand the importance of interoperability and portability to improve ROI, improve the speed to market for new services and provide flexibility when changes are needed. Listen to experts talk to the latest standards being adopted to support open cloud computing. Learn how the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) is changing the cloud standards landscape and how you can begin to influence the direction of Cloud Computing to maximize the value to your organization.
Time/Location: Monday, April 30 at 2:00 - 3:15 in Marco Polo 707 (Venetian Hotel)
I will also be at the Innovate with Cloud Meet Up on May 1 at 12:45 at the Social Playground in the Solution Center. If you are at Impact, please do come over and say hello!
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