The Next Big Thing
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7 Self-Inflicted Wounds of Cloud Computing

In InformationWeek last week there was an article titled: 7 Self-Inflicted Wounds of Cloud Computing.Foot in foot.png


This article described 7 ways that IT businesses do themselves in when moving to the cloud. It had some great information, but I thought it looked at the problem from too much of a commodity infrastructure perspective. The 7 ways described were:

1)      Not Believing That Organization Change Is A Requirement – The article describes the issues related to the IT organizational changes. I’d not stop there though; the main reason for IT is to enable the business. The new capabilities of the cloud will likely involve some changes in the business side of the organization as well.

2)      Boiling The Ocean – This was focused mostly on the use of virtualization and other techniques to minimize the hardware platform count. This seemed to be looking at the problem from just the cost cutting dimension. Granted there are numerous issues just in combining software onto platforms but if you are going to make the change, you should look at the value being generated by the applications and perform a real application portfolio assessment. That should limit the amount of systems involved and prune off the environments that are not making a difference anyway.

3)      Failure to Simplify – No argument here. As stated in the article "Use the cloud as an excuse to fix complexity problems”. If it was complex before, it will be even more complex under a cloud, unless you actively try to simplify.

4)      Not Understanding How Vendor Management Works – One thing I was a bit surprised about this discussion is the lack of admission that service selection when moving to cloud is almost as much about vendor self-selection as anything else. If the vendor is not willing to conform to your requirements, it means you need a different vendor, not more pressure. Vendor management is becoming a key role for IT organizations and can’t be underestimated.

5)      Believing The Vendor – Cloud washing is the problem here.

6)      Getting Addicted To Cloud – This was focused on the issue of lock-in and the need to have a business plan with value expectations and metrics.

7)      Failing To Implement Policy From The Beginning – this was about governance and the need for controls related to any major change like this.


I was a bit surprised at only the slightest mention of security. Cloud security seems to be an area where organizations can easily shoot themselves in the foot.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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