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The Goals of an Open Cloud

Customers expect that the cloud services they use will be as open as the rest of their IT choices. As mentioned earlier, there are significant barriers to the adoption of cloud computing. As cloud providers ask their potential customers to accept a loss of control over their resources, hiding vendor lock-in behind the benefits of cloud computing will lead to long-term damage to the cloud computing industry. As an open cloud becomes a reality, business leaders will benefit in several ways.

Choice

As an organization chooses a provider or architecture or usage model, an open cloud will make it easy for them to use a different provider or architecture as the business environment changes. If the organization needs to change providers because of new partnerships, acquisition, customer requests or government regulations, they can do so easily. If the organization deploys a private cloud, they can choose between providers as they extend their capacity and/or functional capabilities. Resources that would have been spent on a difficult migration can instead be spent on innovation.

Flexibility

No matter which cloud provider and architecture an organization uses, an open cloud makes it easy for them to work with other groups, even if those other groups choose different providers and architectures. An open cloud will make it easy for organizations to interoperate between different cloud providers.

Speed and Agility

One of the value propositions of cloud computing is the ability to scale hardware and software as needed. Using open interfaces allows organizations to build new solutions that integrate public clouds, private clouds and current IT systems. As the conditions of the organization change, an open cloud lets the organization respond with speed and agility.

Skills

A side effect of an open cloud is the availability of skilled professionals. If there are many proprietary programming models, a given IT professional is unlikely to know more than a few of them. In an open cloud, there is a small set of new technologies to learn (especially when existing technologies are utilized), greatly enhancing the chances that the organization can find someone with the necessary skills.

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