The Open Cloud Manifesto was launched this week with the support of some very large computer companies including Cisco, AT&T, Sun Microsystems and Telefonica as well as over 50 other players in this growing market, all under the leadership of IBM.
It outlines a set of principles that should underpin the growth of online services and utility computing as we shift from running software and storing data locally to an approach like the one we have developed for electricity, generated at large power stations for use wherever it is needed.
Though this sounds good, Bill Thompson, whom I just quoted from, is very critical:
What we need at this stage is a statement of principles that will resonate with the vendors, the users and the standards body.
We need a document that conveys the excitement of the new computing model while offering a clear path towards future standardisation around agreed principles. Only that way will we ensure that the cloud computing market is characterised by open competition, diverse offerings from multiple players and a commitment to customer service, with a clear path for future development based on open standards.
Sadly the open cloud manifesto fails on all of these grounds, offering only a collection of principles that almost anyone would consider obvious and written in the sort of language that graces too many corporate websites, opening with the claim that "the buzz around cloud computing has reached a fever pitch".
Mark Vanderbeeken is a senior partner at Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, based in Turin, Italy. He is also the author of the successful experience design blog Putting People First. Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications and worked in Italy, Denmark, the USA and Belgium. He was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Belgium).