Software // Information Management
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5/19/2008
04:11 PM
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EMC Foggy About Cloud Computing

Joe Tucci's keynote fails to articulate a vision for EMC and the winds of change.

Joe Tucci's keynote fails to articulate a vision for EMC and the winds of change.Companies that sell hardware and/or software licenses cast a wary eye on cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). And for good reason. The cloud turns applications and disk space into a commodity, blowing away the traditional margins you usually get when you can charge a premium for such things.

EMC has a weather eye on the cloud. Joe Tucci, chairman, president, and CEO of EMC, acknowledged that cloud computing will play a role in EMC's future, but declined to offer specifics during his keynote at EMC World.

In fact, he spent less than a minute on the topic, only saying the company has created a new division, called Cloud Computing Services and Infrastructure.

Of course, as a company with fingers in storage, virtualization, and security, he had a lot of other ground to cover. But Tucci's short treatment of the subject indicates to me that the company just doesn't know what to make of the cloud, and whether the changes it will inevitably bring will help or hurt.

The company's VMware acquisition was brilliant, putting it at the cutting edge of one transformational technology. I think it's still early enough in cloud/SaaS that EMC can acquire its way into a leadership role. It's already started testing the winds with the Mozy acquisition. And the truth is many corporations are wary of moving data "outside" the enterprise.

But the writing is on the wall, and EMC has missed an opportunity to articulate a vision for where it plans to go with cloud computing. The company won't succeed if it lets the wind blow it any which way.

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