Cloud computing is currently the hot topic in IT. At the same time, cloud computing has become one of the most nebulous terms in IT. Even definitions in the cloud space are different from “expert” to “expert.” Consider the cloud computing definitions below from highly credible sources:

Gartner: Cloud computing is a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies.

Forester: Cloud computing is a standardized IT capability (services, software or infrastructure) delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service way.

IDC: Cloud computing is an emerging IT development, deployment and delivery model, enabling real-time delivery of products, services and solutions over the Internet.

Wiki: Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) which are available in a remote location and accessible over a network (typically the Internet).

IT Disruptor

There’s no doubt that cloud computing is one of the great IT disruptors of our time. The technology offers a paradigm shift. And everybody wants to be part of the process. That means providers are repositioning many offerings as cloud oriented – sometimes rightly so and sometimes not.

The result, many customers are confused about the services available and who to engage. They also have a laundry list of concerns around the specifics. As one can see, without standardization across the marketplace, noise begins to permeate the discussions with service providers and stakeholders in the business.

Where CDW Comes In

The illustration below shows the dimensions provided by CDW in the cloud computing space. Most customers understand the Service dimensions including Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

As for its Roles, CDW plays in a number of spaces including:

  • Hosting and Managed Service Provider
  • Integrator (for our Cisco Cloud Collaboration Service with hosted voice)
  • Reseller (for partners like Adobe, IBM, Symantec, Microsoft, and many more)
  • Aggregator

Aggregator Role

In an aggregator role, CDW offers a non-biased, objective approach to cloud computing. CDW partners with virtually all the major cloud players as a value-add selling agent.

The main priority is serving our customers while communicating offerings and specifics around how each partner defines and delivers its cloud portfolio. Invariably, questions come up during these conversations. For example:

  • What hypervisor is in use (Citrix, Microsoft, VMware, etc.)?
  • What is the application (test/dev., production, internal IT, public facing web services, etc.)?
  • What are the risks?
  • What compliance metrics are involved?
  • Does an elastic model or a static model work better?

The CDW Cloud Services Aggregation team listens to what customers need in the short and the long term. We then engage vendor partners based upon the match of services, scope, geography (if need be) and costs. We leverage our team with these partners – at no cost – to help customers navigate not only through the noise in the industry, but also through each partner.

CDW’s 2013 State of the Cloud Report

CDW recently released their 2013 State of the Cloud Report. According to this report, most organizations are planning to shift select capabilities to the cloud, and many already have. Other key takeaways include:

  • Personal use of cloud computing is driving both adoption and acceleration to the cloud
  • Cloud is becoming a business, not just an IT decision
  • Barriers remain regarding security, performance and integration with legacy systems
  • Adoption is growing
  • There is significant cost savings over traditional IT, if all aspects of costs are studied

CDW is uniquely positioned to offer customers options for all aspects of IT consumption across the continuum. Aggregation services are another ace in the hole for CDW customers in their evaluation of all things IT – including cloud computing.

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