When The Future State Becomes the Current State – Innovation Reality Check

Very often you will see the terms “Public Cloud” and “hype” in the same sentence. This is probably true for any new game-changing technological advance (anyone remember when thin client was first talked about). Innovation needs to start somewhere and what begins as a great idea very quickly ends up on a PowerPoint or Keynote slide. This supposedly gives the innovation some validity and in many cases simply being able to show it in written or graphic form does provide evidence that it has moved beyond the “cocktail napkin” stage.

In the case of Public Cloud service offerings the need for validating “success” involves a triumvirate; the vendor/s whose technology enables the service offering to be created, the Service Provider who buys the technology components from the vendor/s, and lastly, but most importantly, the end-user customers who buy the service offering from the Service Provider.

To say that the state of the market related to Public Clouds is very active currently is a gross understatement. In some cases the enthusiasm is overly evident but the actual customer business issues being solved by Public Cloud service offerings are harder to find.

This is not uncommon, nor is it a negative scenario. It is simply the evolution of innovation. That being said, it is always super-encouraging when the “innovation reality check” identifies that a great idea has evolved into a real business benefit.

There is little doubt that Public Clouds are real and, I would be so bold as to predict, here to stay. NetApp have announced today that more than 20 new Service Providers have joined our Program that now includes more than 50 Service Providers delivering in excess of 90 service offerings around the world.

But wait, there’s more………… Part of the announcement includes direct references to end-user customer organizations who are achieving real business value from service offerings they have purchased from the Service Providers in NetApp’s Program. Now that takes the growing Service Provider story to another level.

Personally, today is a day full of pride for me and the Service Provider team at NetApp. What started as a “cocktail napkin” concept 3 years ago has now evolved into something that has had a positive impact on the way end-user IT organizations are providing workload functionality to their stakeholders. Along the way it has also significantly assisted Service Providers grow their businesses. A classic win-win-win scenario.

And they are just the ones we can talk about. There are many being developed in real time that we can’t talk about………….yet. So stay tuned. I will blog about individual use-cases and success stories in the future as they become public.