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Clarity about suppliers' strategies and roadmaps will be of more use than lots of blue-sky products, according to Mike Thompson, principal research analyst at Butler Group.
"We would like to see more understanding about on-demand computing - what does it mean, how much does it cost and what do companies have to put in place to make sure it works," he said.
"We need someone to explain what it means across the board. For example, IBM and Oracle have completely different approaches."
Users should demand information from suppliers on how they will approach traditional bugbears, such as the management of large roll-outs, Thompson said.
"We are still faced with a situation where huge applications fail to meet expectations," he said. "Application management after deployment allows companies to find out where the software is failing to meet expectations, instead of just blaming the code."
Thompson also said users would be looking for suppliers that offered ways in which older applications could be split into components to be delivered as discrete services over the web.