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Do Standards Stifle Innovation?

September 16, 2009

Attended federal cloud computing announcement today at NASA. White House CIO, Vivek Kundra, revealed ambitious plan for overall government adoption of Cloud computing and simplification of complex IT procurement process. I also attended private roundtable with Mr. Kundra along with folks from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM, Cisco, SGI, Sun, Eucalyptus, Verari, Symantec, and Salesforce.

Mr. Kundra posed an interesting challenge to the Roundtable participants asking what are the top three things industry recommends to him for Federal Cloud success.  Recommendations are: (1). Use focused approach in migration to Cloud based services. Categorize and prioritize. Examples EMAIL cloud, Web Cloud, HPC Cloud etc. Knock off low hanging fruits first. Create success stories.(2) Learn form Internet success and define Simple Standards (3) Market success stories to engage new adoptions. While most of us in the room agree on the need for simple standards (Sergey Brin emphasized the word “simple” and I completely agree with him. Simple is beautiful. Let innovators add more flesh) for interoperable cloud services, Amazon expressed concern that standards would stifle innovation. EC2 is good for dishing out nodes. It quenched the thirst for getting nodes up and running quickly. API is one small piece of the big puzzle. Cloud is <b>not</b> about just virtualization nor dishing out nodes on demand. It is a paradigm shift in the way services are designed, developed, and delivered. Internet success came from very simple protocol called TCP/IP. Standards in fact sparked great deal of innovation(take TCP/IP, HTTP, WebDav, SMTP) to transform the Internet. If companies need to stay relevant, then they need to be open(truly open) and standards based. Do you think Amazon can sustain their first mover advantage forever?

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 10:31 pm

    Kundra’s approach and the participants, competitors that they are, agreeing on simplicity as vital means innovation may flower… eager to see what Yahoo does

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