IBM has joined more than 45 leading cloud organizations to form the new Cloud Standards Customer Council, which is managed by OMG. Organizations including Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, and North Carolina State University have already joined the Council, which will help advance cloud adoption prioritizing key interoperability issues such as management, reference architectures, hybrid cloud, as well as security and compliance.

The Council will complement vendor-led cloud standards efforts and establish a core set of client–driven requirements to ensure cloud users will have the same freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness they have with traditional IT environments. The Cloud Standards Customer Council is open to all end-user organizations and further enhances customers' abilities to offer both public and private cloud offerings through a standardized platform.

IBM is inviting all of its users to participate in the CSCC and work together in addressing the challenges faced while implementing Cloud Computing. The group will work to lower the barriers for widespread adoption of Cloud Computing by helping to prioritize key Interoperability issues such as cloud management, reference architecture, hybrid clouds, as well as security and compliance.

“To make Open Cloud successful and reflective of real business needs, IBM is asking for client feedback regarding their direction and priorities around cloud standards development,” said Angel Diaz, vice president, IBM Software Standards. “This council is designed to focus on the reality of what provides the greatest cloud computing benefits for clients. Ultimately, this effort is about how organizations can use what they have today and extend their business-using open standards-to get the greatest benefits from cloud.”

While businesses from a variety of industries such as aerospace, education, insurance, and financial services have joined because of their focus on keeping the cloud open, membership in the council is open to all end user organizations-from those with sophisticated openness strategies to others just starting to move to the cloud.

“End users confront the challenges of implementing cloud on a daily basis. The Cloud Standards Customer Council will bring together these cloud veterans into a community where they can discover and disseminate best practices for moving to and managing the cloud and help to drive standards across industry, both to end-users and vendors to bring down costs and increase choice,” said Richard Mark Soley, Ph.D., chairman & CEO, OMG.

In this first-of-a-kind cloud user group, members will share the current view of their Cloud Computing efforts and interoperability requirements around their cloud computing infrastructure, or even work on defining requirements for a particular industry. This Council will also work to develop and deliver detailed materials useful to a larger cloud community such as whitepapers, standards roadmaps, and provide feedback on reference architectures, implementations, and product direction. The Council will specify existing standards requirements when possible, and will outline the scope and direction of new standards efforts when necessary.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to helping Federal agencies derive real and impactful benefits from cloud computing by working collaboratively with standards organizations like Object Management Group, which makes a difference in awareness and adoption,” said Melvin Greer, Lockheed Martin senior fellow and chief strategist, Cloud Computing.

"North Carolina State University and IBM have a long-established partnership in cloud computing technology, including working together to develop NC State's Virtual Computing Laboratory, one of the first large-scale examples of cloud computing in an educational setting," said Dr. Mladen Vouk, associate vice provost for Information Technology and head of the Department of Computer Science at NC State. "We look forward to working with the council partners to develop standards that will allow greater access to cloud computing by industry, government agencies, educational institutions, and other organizations."

IBM currently participates in several cloud standards development efforts in such organizations as the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and The Open Group (TOG). IBM has also just recently contributed a Reference Architecture for Cloud Computing to TOG that will help the group align the industry standards development efforts around similar work that will be started in other international bodies. In addition, IBM has actively been a supporter of The Open Cloud Manifesto, which has more than 400 signers and a mission to open and encourage a dialogue around ensuring that cloud computing stays open and standards efforts are customer-driven.