The long, white, hot and sexy cloud

Will cloud computing and software-as-a-service solutions be hot and sexy in New Zealand in 2010 or not?
Written by Darren Greenwood, Contributor

When I travel the country interviewing IT shops and systems integrators, I ask them what is hot and sexy at the moment or will be in the coming year.

Many are excited about cloud computing and the impact and potential revenue streams it might offer their business. One of the provincial companies I recently visited also has plans to open its own datacentre sometime in the new year.

Now, cloud computing has been talked about for years, and at last it seems to have finally arrived, or will arrive in 2010. Indeed, IDC says 2009 was the year "the cloud was seeded". Gartner sees the cloud as one of the "strategic technologies" for 2010.

A few months back, ISP Orcon announced New Zealand's first locally developed cloud computing service. This follows Wellington-based IT services company, Fronde, crediting the cloud and software-as-a-service offerings as part of the company's recovering fortunes. Other IT service providers have also jumped on the cloud bandwagon.

Earlier this month, Telecom-owned systems integrator Gen-i announced its own range of cloud-based offerings, saying that within a few years, it expects a quarter of company revenues to come through such software-as-a-service offerings. This month, IBM also announced an $80 million datacentre, which will serve the New Zealand cloud computing market.

As we approach the year end, the reviews are coming in as to whether cloud computing will finally live up to the hype. Computerworld NZ sees some challenges.

But many industry leaders told the magazine they see the cloud as the technology for 2010.

Now, I will be back on the road soon, visiting a few IT shops and systems integrators over the holidays. I expect that they too will again mention the cloud as "hot and sexy" for 2010. But I will leave you with the comments of that provincial supplier, which had recently celebrated a major anniversary.

The owner noted that when the business started out, computers would gain all their computing power from a central database. Then, computing became distributed with individual terminals having their own power and database. And now, in a cloud-based world, we are seeing systems revert to what they were before. I guess history does have a way of repeating itself, whether it is sexy or not!

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