People who talk about cloud computing often divide the environment as a three layered structure - an infrastructure layer, an operating platform layer and an application layer. But in my opinion, this is not the cloud layers I would subscribe to in future, I would say the most important of them is going to be a – a services layer, comprising business services that aggregates capabilities from all the three underlying layers. This is what should be utilized by enterprise users, to take full advantage of the platform. Services and even process automation systems should be part of clouds.
Now you might ask isn’t it a little too much to imaging that companies will leverage externally defined and hosted business processes? I say they should, as long as they are definable, configurable, automate-able, service aggregations to make full use of cloud environments. Now I’m no technology expert on cloud computing to advice on how it can be achieved etc, all I would say is this is how I envisage a true shared services model to work. I would also say that utilizing the same infrastructure, same applications and storage doesn’t mean the services should give exactly the same output to every customer as well, they should be agile too.