I’ve been watching an interesting discussion this week taking place from a number of different organization related to cloud computing – or more accurately the perspective of cloud computing. With some of the early stumbles to developing a cloud marketplace behind us, it may be time to sit back for a moment and think about what is needed and where the cloud movement is headed. It also made me look at some of my old posts to see if they were still relevant.
A consensus of perspectives from the discussion:
- Cloud is a journey – It is not an implementation that gets done. It is definitely not just a single application living in isolation. It might start out that way but that is more of a Proof of Concept than an enterprise approach. There are many misconceptions that will be overcome as we go down this road so being flexible is important.
- Cloud is about People, Process, and Finance more than just the Technology. Sure it requires technology to compute the results but it is the people who collect the value. It is the processes that allow it to operate reliably (especially if you’re talking a private cloud) or the support of the business processes that actually generating business value reliably.
It is finance as well – the value generation for $$ spent is one of the driving factors.
Organizations need to have a holistic cloud view of the impact with the business. It is not just an IT issue. Having said that though, automation is at the center of the cloud. Understanding the capabilities and looking for business opportunities to take even greater advantage of integration and automation should also be part of a cloud strategy.
- Cloud is not magic and in many cases we have been doing “cloud” like implementations for years. I came from EDS and we sold multi-tenant solutions on the mainframe since the 1960s, so there is a great deal that can be learned from experience. Having said that though, the hardware capability and the software controls have advanced significantly, so although many of the tasks to be performed may be the same, the techniques available are radically different.
Another way that cloud is not magic is that the organization’s applications were probably not written to take full advantage of a cloud environment. They may run on virtualized infrastructure, but the software development techniques of the past will not be up-to-the-task of supporting cloud environments fully.
- Cloud is justifiable by the business outcomes achieved. It is a journey not a destination. Organizations need to implement for a reason and measure against those objectives. It’s OK to have a false start, make mistakes – as long as we hit the business objectives.
- Cloud is a delegation of responsibly. Organizations may have a cloud contract, but are still responsible. Not everyone feels comfortable with delegating responsibility at the same level – that’s OK. Just keep in mind that the cloud value is about leveraging for the good of the many. If you need something too unique, it will be a custom service and that usually costs more. Depending on the volume and the need, vendor self-selection is part of the cloud decision making process. Be careful trying to force a vendor in a direction if it is not where they are going anyway.
Those were some quick notes I wrote down. What did I leave out? Do your perception’s differ?