Cloud standards: Should we be worrying about them?

Standardisation can be a minefield for the cloud industry, but platforms such as Docker could provide a suitable solution

There are around 50 officially recognised standards within the cloud industry, but it’s often difficult for CIOs to decide which to adopt. Sometimes it may seem easier for CIOs to ignore these concerns, then just go and purchase cloud without really thinking about it. However, there are solutions to these problems, as Martin Bishop, head of network applications and services at Telstra Global, explains.

Telstra provides a fully automated cloud solution and adopts security standards such as ISO27001 – although Bishop notes that more common and open standards are needed as well. Customers, typically, don’t care about the standards being adopted, but instead require a focus on business outcomes over anything else.

CTO of raw engineering, Nishant Patel, says CIOs should look at platforms like Docker to solve their problems. Docker puts applications in distributable containers, which allows developers to create an application before shipping it out to users as a cross-platform package.

Patel states that the most important consideration is ensuring the cloud software application base functions on a cross-platform basis. Standards should not be the real focus because they change far too often. On the other hand, he notes that it’s vital to plan for the future, as the modular elements may need to be re-engineered in a few years time. For this reason, a clear architectural plan should be recorded.

Perhaps at the moment it is wiser to say that business outcomes should matter more than cloud standards. Vendors may be trying to avoid making a decision, but in reality things are changing so much, it’s impossible to choose what’s best right now. Instead, it’s better to remain aware of cloud standards. In its first few phases, a cloud merely acts as a supplement rather than a replacement, anyway.