To many observers, the cloud has been ill-defined and even hijacked as a viable term by vendors. However, all can agree on the solid definition of cloud provided by the U.S. National Institute of Standards (NIST).
Recently, NIST came out with additional guidelines detailing what elements should go into cloud computing. While the guidelines are aimed at government agencies, they also provide important parameters for private businesses as well.
Above all, standardization is key, according to the NIST document.
As NIST put it: “Standards-based products, processes, and services are essential for agencies to ensure that public investments do not become prematurely technologically obsolete.”
The guidelines also suggest that standardization helps customers “economically acquire commercial and develop private clouds using standards-based products, processes, and services.”
The NIST guidelines are available here.