Open Cloud computing has been for sometime the best kept “open” secret among its conceptual developers. The “open cloud manifesto” was then identified for standards, framework and processes so that the flexibility and the openness of the cloud are not compromised. With SAP joining the fray in open cloud computing and becoming a member of the manifesto, I think it is fair enough to visualize the possibilities even though open cloud is still new and a lot of experimentation is going on.
Open cloud’s success involves in how open the software on the cloud is going to be, after all what good is an open cloud if the platform is free but the software solution is unattainable or controlled by a few players. The framework needs to take into account that software should be accessible to all and sharing of applications is not cumbersome.
Now when I think of what does all this do for analytics or Business Intelligence being on the cloud, the possibilities are really enticing. From a concept standpoint I think an open cloud computing analytics will resemble an “ipod apps area”. The software licensing is free, the platform is virtual and developers are provided with all the tools to create applications and to share them with others. SAP Business Objects “whohar” (https://whohar.ondemand.com) is a sample of this concept, where users can share datasets and templates and Polestar in the cloud is an application that lets users load their datasets and analyze the data with a Flash based tool that allows users with no data modeling skills to analyze their data.
This type of analytics is actually interesting to business users as they don’t have to rely on data models or coding skills to get them their analysis report. This also gives a greater transparency among partners who share their datasets. They don’t have to rely on each other to provide specific templates, when a data pool is available.
Of course these type of analytics between shared datasets has to go through accepted standards and the cloud must be reliable where in the framework must be compatible even on different providers of the cloud. But I believe that the days where analysis are run real time on shared data on any mash up imagined is not far of..