Australian IT services player Oakton has kicked off its own play for the cloud, but the company is not planning to build out local datacentre infrastructure, instead focusing on the consulting side.
Oakton plans to assist large organisations with their cloud strategy given the large range of products becoming available from various cloud providers.
IT services competitor CSC, for example, is placing a heavy focus on cloud and companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce.com and Google are highly active in the space, as well as telcos like Telstra and Optus. Fujitsu yesterday announced its self-service cloud play.
"We believe there's a lot of noise out there in the market from a range of the different vendors who have cloud solutions," said Oakton chief architect James Watson in an interview. "Clients are struggling to work out what all that means, and they're looking for advice from independent organisations who can help them navigate through that."
"I don't think any one vendor can necessarily provide a complete solution," he added. "I think more and more organisations are going to be looking for advice on how to provide services from a range."
Oakton isn't putting together a specific business unit focused on cloud, but is drawing from and increasing the skill of its existing expertise in a range of areas to deal with the new platform — such as enterprise architecture IT strategy and business case development.
In general, Watson said Oakton was having quite a few cloud computing conversations around the infrastructure layer of the organisational IT stack, because it was easy for CIOs to create a business case in that area.
"A lot of organisations aren't thinking too much further past that today," he said, but it was likely that cloud would then make a natural progression up the technology layers. Email and collaboration is a natural next step — and many organisations already buy customer relationship management software, for example, as a service.
The architect said one of the key things for organisations to realise at the moment was that they needed to think about how new applications they were building would be hosted and managed in future. It's likely that companies wouldn't want to get into a situation where the software was architected so that it couldn't be deployed into the cloud.
"It's future-proofing," he said.