TMF2010 – Cloud Services: small scattered showers, or major thunderstorm?

There's nothing new about cloud services - we are really talking about evolutions of the Centrex / hosted model, but with a better taxonomy and more attractive label. But, whether we call such services hosted, XaaS or Cloud-based, it doesn't much matter.

The fact is that many enterprises and service providers are recognising the value of such solutions.

What's interesting is the breadth of such services that are emerging. It's not just traditional services, such as voice and fax, but all kinds of storage and managed back-up solutions. Virtualisation, applications, capacity. In fact, there's little that cannot be included in the definition and many sessions were devoted to this point.

Of course, while for larger corporate customers, the delivery of the full range of cloud services will be a complex task, there are many such services which can profitably be targeted towards smaller companies, something which is still not universally recognised by the bigger players in the industry.

Moreover, a key aspect of cloud services is the fact that non-traditional players can enter the market, leveraging high-speed broadband access networks to ensure reliable service delivery.

While it's too early to say how many of these will be successful, it's clearly going to be fun to watch as both the range of offers increases - and as the industry inevitably decides cloud services are too hyped and begins the usual self-flagellation.

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