There is a growing drumbeat from cloud providers, IT solution providers, and end users for a system of standards around cloud computing. The reasons are varied; vendors want to be able to plug-n-play with adjacent solutions, IT providers are tired of each solution being just that much different, end users are trying to figure out how to compare apples and oranges as they vet potential cloud solutions. There is also the issue of security; with one standard for baseline security needs, everyone is more likely to find comfort in the cloud.
So what stands in the way? Well, first, the pace of innovation and the varied types of cloud offerings is one hurdle. Most standards are created once a technology has reached a slight plateau in terms of innovation. Second, agreeing where to start creates another issue. Cloud computing covers a lot of ground.
In an article by Joe Masters in Information Week, the author takes a deep dive into the issue of standards, namely around three foundational elements of cloud: portability, interoperability, and provisioning and orchestration. I am not even going to try to paraphrase; trust me when I say this is well worth the read. But I will share this: Standards do have a place in cloud computing, particularly as more and larger customers push back against vendor lock-in. What you as a solution provider need to know is where to start looking for help, and this article is a great starting point.