New user group aims to take on the super vendors

Open Data Center Alliance, with more than $50B in collective IT spending, hope to yield a big stick

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Eunice believes the alliance has potential to become a powerful user group. Its creation was likely encouraged in part by social media, which has led to more collaboration, openness and new attitudes about appropriate levels of sharing, he added.

Use of cloud platforms and services such as Salesforce, have also lead the acceptance of shared infrastructure, Eunice said.

Curt Auble, vice president of cybersecurity amd NextGen Innovations at Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services, said he sees some "amazing capabilities" developing on the Web. However, he added, if a developer "needs to move applications that they develop on one cloud platform to another cloud platform they are in essence rewriting that application."

The vendors encourage feedback and want to be responsive to customer demands, said Auble, who is the alliance president. With the alliance, vendors will "get that feedback in a more unified fashion."

The alliance also includes IT infrastructure services providers, such as Terremark Worldwide.

Martin Wheeler, Terremark's chief strategy officer, said his firm doesn't make hardware or software, but has to work with both users and IT vendors. CIOs are playing key roles in helping user companies create new sources of revenues, and to deal with new technologies like cloud services that are seeing hockey stick-like growth rates.

"We got to start having an organized voice so all these tremendous technological advances can be organized in a meaningful way," said Wheeler, who is the alliance's chairman and secretary.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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