An old saying goes like this: “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. Usually, it’s true. But not in the case of the IT industry in general and the cloud computing segment in particular. One thing remains constant – the high expectations from clients and as a result, things often have to change a lot.
If big names had it the way they wanted, today we would all use close platforms where everything is strictly controlled by the provider. Want to change a module? Ask the provider and wait. If possible at all, you will have to pay a lot for that. Need more flexibility? Sorry, no can do. Luckily, all of that, while still happening in some forms, is very, very far from the extreme, for one good reason.
Open for all
It’s again thanks to the fact that customers have high expectations and demands from their providers. Coupled with the rigorous competition, providers can’t really afford to say “maybe” or “no” to their customers as they will simply go somewhere else. In fact, many customers do say that to their provider as an argument why something should happen the way they want to.
So, if an IT service provider of any sort wants to have happy customers it has to listen to them as much as possible. And here come the extra specifics of the cloud service providers. Cloud computing in general is still developing at a very high pace with plenty of possibilities yet to be explored.
More and more SMBs and large enterprises discover new ways the cloud can help them. For cloud service providers it’s simply not possible to maintain this high pace and answer all of their clients’ wishes themselves. On the other hand, cloud users prefer to have the freedom to mix and match, change and develop the services they use on a regular basis.
Coupled with the main marketing message of many cloud services about flexibility, usability and practicality, offering a strict and closed platform really doesn’t fit. Having an open platform on the other hand sounds just right and gives a lot more transparency, helping customers feel safer by vetting the code and knowing their data won’t be snooped by the provider.
The way to go
Cloud providers know all of this and see the benefits. Their customers want to feel free and have options on the table. They don’t want to be locked into one platform. And they sure don’t want to not know what happens in that platform.
Open standards become increasingly popular in lots of areas of IT. The cloud being one of the main enablers of many IT services and solutions, naturally adopts the openness a lot faster than the rest. Plus, the open standards increase interoperability, reduce risk and allow for a lot more options to choose from.
So, open it is. In fact, many providers turn this into their main message and offer. Services which are able to work across multiple clouds with ease are sought after and it’s not surprising. As a result, the cloud will remain bright and open. And that’s not a good thing. That’s a great thing.