Suddenly, everyone is looking for fuel efficient cars. That is what is happening with IT resources as well. Cloud is enabling that to happen in a very rapid and scalable manner. Over the last decade, there has been a real push to look at IT services from the service centric point of view. Businesses that have done this were able to innovate faster and provide best value to their customers.

Cloud computing has graduated and has really come out of clouds. It re-affirms the benefits of thinking at a service centric manner. Cloud computing takes the IT services to the next level by virtualizing almost everything that IT provides. A variety of Cloud services has come out of the box. Cloud providers can now provide storage, cpu and network out of the box for a fees.

Cloud could also be a threat to traditional models of software licensing. What will be the impact of Cloud computing on software development, deployment, support and maintenance?

Can a warehouse application be deployed on Cloud and offer the same level of customization and SLA’s for different customers.

Cloud has some more challenges to face. Cloud portability, security and compliance are the keys areas innovation has to happen in future to take cloud to the main stream. Location of the data in various geographies and data disposal could be a compliance issue for sensitive information.

Biggest beneficiaries and customers for the cloud are governments. Governments have huge data that needs to be stored and safeguarded. Security is one man aspect of the cloud. Governments would probably go to private clouds to optimize the resources and thereby reducing operating costs.

ISV’s and ERP companies have already embraced cloud computing and are using for their main line of businesses. Companies that need computing power have used Cloud and are using it on a pay as you go basis and saving huge costs. Cloud will make innovations in the business and could reduce barriers of entry for some businesses to get into the space, which they could not get to earlier.

Hacking in cloud. Can some one who is smart gets onto Cloud computing, really wipes all your machines, data and not even leave traces of what happened?. Auditing and control could be one of the main compliance issues as well.

Applications need to gel with cloud infrastructure seamlessly. We know for sure, how much time and energy we spent in starting a new production release, even of the machines and operating system remains same. Ability to simulate cloud environments locally and deploy in cloud infrastructure seamlessly is challenge.

At Imaginea, we think, Cloud has to be embraced in a step by step manner rather than a big bang. For service companies, there is also a point, where they will start paying more for cloud services compared when hosted in house.