Telecoms World Conference: Standards for cloud computing predicted to change the vendor landscape in 2012

By Derek du Preez
25 Oct 2011 View Comments
Warning sign against cloud backdrop

GENEVA: Standards for the cloud will begin to emerge next year in response to demand from enterprises for clear information around security and exit strategies, according to the director of cloud computing marketing at technology giant Huawei.

Speaking to Computing at this week's ITU Telecoms World 2011 conference, Ron Raffensperger said that many vendors are resisting cloud standards for commercial reasons but that this may not be the case for much longer.

"There needs to be lots more done around establishing some clear standards for the cloud," Raffensperger said. "Until now, it hasn't been in the best interest of the vendors to create clear and open standards. They don't want a competitive landscape, as this could put their market share at risk.

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"However, the customers are really demanding standards now and things have reached a tipping point."

Several organisations are aiming to establish standards for vendors to operate by, including the Cloud Security Alliance, the Cloud Industry Forum and the Open Data Center Alliance.

Raffensperger expects that when standards become more widely accepted, it will create a shift in the vendor landscape away from some of the major players, as customers will have the freedom to select a variety of standards-based solutions.

He said that CIOs "are not happy with the dominant players" because of their "attitude towards them as customers".

Raffensperger said that as with the telecoms market, no single standards body will dictate how the cloud market evolves.

"Standards will develop as a result of several initiatives. In the telecoms market you had the ITU, the GSMA and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute all playing a part, and I think this will be the same for the cloud market," said Raffensperger.

"Standards in IT are generally not created through a monolithic organisation," he said.

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