The industry used to like the phrase; get big, bet niche or get out' and it might have some place to play in the cloud era.
The talk up to now has been of private or public clouds but there could be a vertical pitch emerging as well. The experiences of ThinkGrid and appiChar in developing a solution for the charity and non-for-profit sector is an interesting one.
Even before it got together with cloud services provider ThinkGrid the charity specialist appiChar already offered that sector tailored managed services and hosted options.
Having a chat with representatives from both companies earlier on what struck me was the way that selling a cloud solution to a specific vertical market is a very good idea. Bearing in mind one of the big problems with cloud has been trust it could get over that quite nicely.
If a charity wants to work with someone with a long track record of helping it reduce IT costs but not reduce functionality then it presumably would turn to a select handful of players, of which appiChar is one.
That provides an idea for those that have also got experience in one vertical. Team up with someone else to provide the parts of the cloud jigsaw that you lack and concentrate on selling the client a vision of the world in terms they understand.
Oil and gas, finance and health are all clouds that spring to mind and it could just be the future for those looking at a way into the hosted world to concentrate on using the skills they have to appeal to an audience they know very well.
This was first published in September 2010