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Steve O'Keeffe

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Posted: 5/12/2009 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Does Cloud Mean Rain Ahead for SIs?

If John, Paul, George, and Ringo caught America's attention, then Cloud Computing is the new Elvis Presley of the Federal IT market.  From Vivek Kundra to GSA to OMB, Federal IT is shaking its pelvis to the rhythm of the new cool sound.

But, what does all this mean for Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack -- the SIs that have long set the pace for cool in the Federal IT billboard charts?  If agencies can log onto the Cloud and access infrastructure and applications on a pay-by-the-song model, who's going to invest the time and money in LPs, to say nothing of buying record players, styli, and the like?  Is the big-iron and big-application-program-build model going up in smoke?

What's the forecast for traditional SIs?  Are we witnessing the beginning of the end -- with wholesale replacement by the likes of Amazon and Google?  Or will the SIs prove bellwethers, reinventing themselves as the responsible adults that can turn vapor into reality?  What happens if GSA sets up Cloud procurements and agencies cancel or delay their traditional IT acquisition programs?

The Clouds are gathering.  The market forecast is clear.  For the SIs to grow and prosper, they need to abandon Sinatra and look to Dylan, Bowie, and Madonna for inspiration.