Client4Cloud is all about the 4 vectors in our world that are converging :
1) Users & Devices
2) Apps & Data
4) Cloud (infrastructure)
Within each layer of the stack there are parallel process, skills, and technology that needs to be in place to bind each layer together. Similar to how eggs can bind the layers of a cake either as part of the frosting or the actually cake itself.
These binding layers in their own right will create new market opportunities and challenges across Software Producers, Enterprise, Cloud Providers and Service Brokers (aka managed service providers) to fill the gaps.
What are some of the binding layers that need to be addressed and why?
- Licensing as a Service - automating the license tracking, usage, and authorization across cloud service providers, cloud service brokers, software producers and enterprise customers across heterogeneous clouds, environments, and models. The electronic "postal service" for the Cloud.
- Transformation Automation from Client to Cloud - Planning, Migration, Orchestration and Analysis to enable visibility, clarity and control in identifying, on boarding and maintaining a bifurcated systems during the transition from current to App/User centric paradigm.
- Process Transformation & Automation - convergence requires shifting current legacy product and technology thinking to Users and Services they are consuming. As an industry we will have to rethink how we package, create, price, and deliver "Services Not Systems (ITPI 2011) across Users, Apps, and Data.
Evolution Not Revolution
Throughout my books and blogs - I have reiterated that the convergence process is an evolution not a revolution. Many companies are jaded because they were caught in the hype cycle of either Desktop Virtualization or Cloud Clutter - here many jump on the bandwagon without understanding the layers, how they are impacting customers, and requirements for proper convergence.
Like all evolutions - this one will take time to embrace, understand, educate and develop for. So where does one start? The first step to success is understanding the layers in the stack and the interdependency each has on the success of the other. The convergence means that the siloed desktop, server, network, and mobile approach will need to finally be torn down like the Berlin Wall to truly have the freedom, automation, and control required to realize the advantages of the user centric paradigm while mitigating risks.
The biggest gaps today are in understanding. The first round of 1.0 products should be carefully viewed for ability to adapt and expand with the market as it matures. It is still fairly nascent and the requirements are evolving (new regulations, business directives, licensing paradigms).
The first book in the Client4Cloud series focuses on process automation and best practices for shifting from a machine centric to a user centric approach. The print copy will be available by April and electronic copy is currently available on Amazon.com