By Sramana Mitra and guest author Shaloo Shalini
SM: Yes, I think there are several of those low-hanging fruits. I think the entire domain of collaboration has lots of applications, whether it is Web conferencing, which is pretty much operating on a cloud computing basis, or something else. There are a bunch of cloud-friendly applications such as video conferencing that will probably be leading on the cloud applications front.
DH: Yes, I look at it as a changing consumption model. To some extent, this reminds me of when UNIX came to the fore and everybody declared that the mainframe was dead. Well it didn’t die, but it certainly didn’t continue to grow at the rate it was growing in the 1970s and 1980s. I think what is probably there on mainframes today is risk computing. So, it is not a primary computing model, but it is not going away. The cloud is really just is an addition to the set of options for consumption. But at the end of the day, we are going to continue to innovate in information technology because we, at least here in the United States, are in a service economy. It is all about information and knowledge. It is all about your machines, and your machines are in a way your people, your assets. Anything that you can do to get more productivity out of your people simply makes sense to do. We often find IT to be distracting from what is just plain, old-fashioned IT governance and decision making. There will be low-hanging fruit, but again, this wholesale move to the cloud may not happen unless somebody solves in a meaningful way the problem of the flexible, hybrid, on-premise, and off-premise mode. It has to be more than one player. Not even Microsoft can have 100% of the market. There have to be companies that provide an easier transition in the clouds. That way, you can have a choice as to where you want your application to live in – be it within your firewalls, in your data center, in a public infrastructure, or some combination of these. The most likely consumption model is some combination of the two that works such that from the outside it is completely seamless to manage, operate, and provision for; it works from one set of interfaces with one set of rules and has appropriate governance over it.
SM: The synthesis of your point of view is that you are looking at more of a hybrid environment with greater emphasis but a seamless transition between on-premise private cloud data centers and public clouds.
DH: Yes, but with a caveat that there will be public cloud infrastructure, significant public cloud adoption, in the form of software service pure-play SaaS like Salesforce and Microsoft to which customers will simply just hand that application, and they will be the application service provider, cloud provider whatever buzzword you want to hang on them.
SM: Very good! This has been a very interesting discussion. Thank you for your insights, Dave.
DH: Terrific. Thank you very much.