Though Virginians may hardly agree, the state government's recent information systems outage is a blessing in disguise for both cloud services and IT as a whole. The system failure - which affected the DMV, and the Elections and Taxation and Revenue agencies - will help set a standard of expectations for the cloud and cloud related services.

After all, we toss "cloud" around as if your data really resides in some ethereal place waiting for speedy retrieval. But the reality is data and services really just travel through that ether to reside on someone else's servers. 

Fears of an outage won't stop the coming XaaS revolution because the savings are too high for companies that want to outsource IT, or buy additional services on an as-needed basis. But the outage - along with the inevitable next one - may create more specialized jobs to ensure a site service up-time.

Along with a new type of job that may come out of the outages, new companies may be born to certify XaaS as "cloud ready," or award grades based on amount of redundancy, disaster recovery programs, policy, failure rate, etc.

-- Dino Londis