The network is the platform for cloud services

Kate Gerwig
SearchTelecom.com
If we ignore the out-of-control cloud computing services hype machine for a minute, enterprises truly are facing an IT technology sea change, with cloud and managed services poised for growth for the right applications at the right time. The caveat is that we're in the early -- and we mean early -- days of cloud market development, which the machine usually glosses over.
 
Triggered by the down economy and other perfect storm forces that include fast-changing technology like virtualization, regulations and the need for increased IT skills, this really is the time for cloud computing services adoption, Forrester Research says, because enterprises and their CIOs have multiple reasons to change their traditional ways of doing business.
 
But beyond positive messages about the future of cloud computing services, Forrester's VP and principal analyst Ellen Daley is also bullish on the service provider cloud opportunity that stems from owning a high-performance IP network and the expertise to operate it. She added one caveat, however: Service providers don't have cloud dominance locked down, which means they will have to do a lot of due diligence with CIOs to ensure that they have the expertise on the applications end of the cloud and can prove a good ROI.
 
"Network assets are going to be very important in this market; this isn't going to be a traditional over-the-top game," Daley said.
 
The network advantage often gets left out in cloud discussions that focus on over-the-top (OTT) players.
 
Daley recently offered some interesting statistics about the growth of the cloud computing services market and views on the fledgling industry. The numbers came from a custom study sponsored by Cisco Systems.
 
 
First, a look at the numbers. Even in the dark days of 2009's economic downturn, managed and cloud computing services saw a 13% uptake in the enterprise, often because businesses had to be more sensitive to cost, Daley said.

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