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HP, IBM and Oracle lack cloud innovation, says BofA IT architect

Businesses need to search hard to find the right technology, 451Group conference hears

Tech giants HP, IBM and Oracle are "paralysed" when it comes to cloud innovation, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch IT architect.

Rupert Brown, principal architect at BofA said that while there is a lot of innovation in the cloud industry, businesses have to search for it.

"If you go to HP, IBM or Oracle, they will send you a lot of consultants but they don't have the tool sets themselves.

"We have found all the big guys are paralysed for innovation. They buy things to sell," Brown told The 451 Group's Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit in London.

He warned that such a lack of innovation in cloud can rub off on businesses unless they are proactive: "You have to know what you are going to do first and look for them [the innovation]."

Fellow panellist Paul Boyns, head of IT strategy of the BBC's Technology Division, said that the broadcaster is at this stage of exploring opportunities offered by cloud.

"We are very much in the learning mode [but] we do have a cloud strategy," he said.

The BBC is looking at how cloud computng vendors can support the organisation's storage and internet hosting capabilities, and in preparation has implemented policies and guidelines about what type of data should be kept in house and what can be put into the cloud.

"We are trying to make the BBC a more intelligent buyer, and to guide the business users around the minefield," Boyns said.

However, a barrier to adoption for the BBC is that it has not fully defined what processes and tools it can put in the cloud.

"We haven't commodotised our developer tool set enough yet, but we are looking at that at the moment," he continued.

Meanwhile, for other organisations, such as Transport for London (TfL) legacy infrastructure poses a significant barrier to cloud implementation.

Although TfL uses Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform to share a real-time data feed of train movement information with the public, adopting cloud in more established areas of the business is more difficult. The public data feed was a relatively new service being provided by the organisation.

"It is easy if you have a blank piece of paper. [But] the big challenge at the moment is taking a legacy world and engineering it [for the new cloud world]," said Stephen White, head of solutions at London Underground Information Management.

"Internal systems are very tightly locked down. Once I have made an investment, changing tack is not really a possibility."


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