Uncertainty over cloud strengthens SIs

Lack of policies and regulations governing cloud computing strengthens value proposition of systems integrators, says Datacraft executive.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Cloud computing's lack of policies and regulations will help strengthen systems integrators' value proposition to users, according to a Datacraft executive.

Jeffrey Yeow, head of solutions for Datacraft Singapore, told ZDNet Asia, the relatively immature cloud industry is currently seeing players finding their roles in the different tiers of software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

This has led to a fragmented cloud scene which is unable to present a complete offering that is sufficiently governed by policies to meet enterprise requirements, he said.

And it will be at least a couple of years before the different layers can come together to be readily consumed by enterprises, helping systems integrators build a business case around offering managed services, said Yeow.

He said the cloud scene currently poses much uncertainty for users, and offered an example of an enterprise needing to move from one cloud service to another: "Who will help the client move to the other cloud? The new [vendor]? There are a lot of holes, still... It is risky if policies are not defined."

Yeow said his advice to customers looking to hop onto the cloud is to be cautious. "The scene is not exactly very clear, so we don't tell clients to just hop on."

Customers should keep their deployments on the cloud non-mission critical, and keep it to applications that are easily switched from provider to provider, such as communications platforms, he added.

During a presentation Wednesday at a Datacraft event, Andy Cocks, director, solutions development group and alliances for Datacraft Asia, said users are still not able to predict the extent of the different challenges they will face, in moving to the cloud.

Quoting a Burton Group user survey on SaaS implementation, Cocks said the top expected risk among enterprises was that information security would take a hit, with some 50 percent of respondents indicating so. Instead, less than 20 percent found that this was a reality in their SaaS projects.

And while some 40 percent expected to have issues with network connectivity, a close but slightly greater 45 percent found that this issue came up for them.

Cocks said moving forward, cloud players and users should pay attention to industry standards such as ITIL, to build policies governing cloud deployments.

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