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Beware of Lock In

By David M. Smith, Valentin T. Sribar  |  Posted 07-20-2010 Print

Gartner defines cloud engineering as the process of designing the systems necessary to leverage the power and economics of cloud resources to solve business problems. You can bring this skill set in-house, but there may be other options that prove more cost-effective for your organization.

Cloud brokerages, rather than internally sourced cloud engineering, can be the answer to this problem for most companies. As demand for such services grows, so will the associated cost and effort. This can eventually lead to lock-in, because once your organization has expended significant effort to either "enhance" services or to "integrate" them, you will be less likely to throw that investment away and move to a different service or provider.

A good solution is to work with cloud brokerages that can supply intermediation or aggregation of services to provide for the needs of your company. With the necessary qualifications, these brokerages are analogous to SIs in that they will provide cloud engineering on behalf of many customers. Their business depends on implementing and maintaining the cloud engineering on behalf of customers. These SIs then become VARs for the cloud services that they enhance. At this point, your company will not be so locked in, because you will be paying the brokerage for service, not the original provider. Should your company want to switch, you have the options to switch brokerages (theoretically), go to the originating provider, or ask the broker to provide different enhancements.

The future will not fit neatly into "public" and "private" clouds, but will be on a continuum that will include hybrid modes, virtual private modes and many combinations. As more cloud services become mainstream, we expect to see an increase in the ability to customize those that do become popular.

About The Authors

David Mitchell Smith is VP/Gartner Fellow and Valentin T. Sribar is Group VP at Gartner.


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