That was the message sent out during IBM’s Pulse 2011 event this week in Las Vegas as the man in charge of the cloud for Lockheed Martin and Big Blue’s cloud champion talked up the benefits on offer.
Cloud computing marks a turning point in the “industrialisation” of the IT industry, according to Ric Telford, Tivoli’s vice president of autonomic computing, who likened the transition as akin to the key changes that happened when we went from making matches, nails and pins one-by-one – resulting in every one being different – to en masse.
“It wasn’t an industry. It was a craft. In some ways that’s very similar to how IT has been. We’re craftsmen. But it doesn’t scale,” he said.
Using another analogy, this time how the financial services industry coped with growing demand, he added: “[The banks] just couldn’t keep adding tellers so the ATM network was born. At any time of the day, in any place in the world you are now able to draw cash out. What this self service model brought to banking is akin to what we’re seeing.
“What’s changing now is a shift in focus on the cloud from cost control to driving business innovation. Now I can get my services to move faster, be more dependable and repeatable, what can I do differently?”
Melvin Greer, senior fellow and chief strategist for SOA and cloud computing at Lockheed Martin echoed Telford’s claims that times were changing.
“We at Lockheed Martin have a unique perspective on how to approach cloud computing. We have less of a discussion around the technical definition of cloud and more of a discussion on what we can do with the cloud,” he said.
“It’s important to get context as to why cloud computing is so hyped. We have a global economic situation…. This global context has created a new normal.
Given the US government’s mandate to invest heavily in the cloud to the tune of $20 billion, Lockheed Martin does and will continue to play a key role in providing those cloud computing services.
As to the benefits of this cloud-centric approach? “Now we can consider whole new levels of business opportunities that never existed before,” added Greer.