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Are business executives missing the point with the private cloud?

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As this Charles Babcock article states at Information Week, "Business executives believe their firms should be investing in cloud technologies, according to a survey released by Avanade, an IT consulting group. But most are thinking in terms of private cloud adoption."  Do you believe this is the wrong way to go about it?

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  • Short answer: No. I love binary questions.

    Long answer: What an interestingly vague statement! What, exactly, are "cloud technologies"? Does Charles perhaps mean contracting cloud services? Or does he mean investing in technologies that are supportive of a cloud computing model?

    One does not "invest" in a cloud computing provider and in fact that's allegedly part of the lure - it's an operational expense that reduces the need for capital investments in infrastructure to support a more agile and ultimately (one hopes) scalable application environment.

    There is no such thing as "cloud technologies" - there are cloud computing services offered as a traditional hosted / outsourced business model. If organizations are primarily considering private cloud computing models, this should be no surprise to anyone who has watched the waxing and waning of outsourced anything with regards to IT.

    So it is wrong to think in terms of private cloud instead of public cloud? The answer to that question can only be provided on an organization by organization - and in some cases an application by application - basis.

    There's no "wrong" way to do IT or "cloud". There are only data center models and architectures with varying degrees of efficiency and cost models.

  • I believe it's important to point out that this survey was executed by Avanade, an IT consulting group. The results are not in line with what I'm seeing in the industry, but sounds a lot like what I hear coming out of IT leadership. Business leadership are taking their companies into the cloud, often times without even consulting with IT. SaaS solutions for CRM, HR, etc. are attractive and allows businesses to overcome artificial limitations placed in the businesses' path by IT. Now we are seeing 90's-era LAN sprawl as business is doing an end-run around IT and then dropping the support and maintenance at their feet after the fact.

    What I hear is IT being dragged into the cloud by the line-of-business. In the end, the decision on cloud will be driven by cost modified by some, usually limited, risk management. When the CFO and CEO get a real business analysis comparing public and private and are told that their exposure may be less than their own data center, the dollars will flow toward public. What's needed at the executive level right now is education and not IT leadership FUD.

  • I do believe "investing in technology" is the wrong approach. Technology is a small part of the path to cloud enablement. More importantly, they should be investing in architecture, design, and governance as a path to moving towards cloud. Throwing a bunch of technology at a problem, will not be the solution. I thought these Executives were smarter than that?

  • It really depends on what is meant by 'Cloud Computing' because once again, the waters have been muddied totally. In a sense, organizations have been doing 'private Clouds' for a number of years simply by virtualizing their servers and thus having them share hardware resources that may previously have been under utilised. I think it's very natural that most organizations would prefer to keep their data in a private place until a lot of the questions about security in the public cloud are answered. Unfortunately the public cloud seems to me to be another play to get organizations to migrate their existing proprietary systems into a new proprietary system in 'The Cloud'. Once you've made the leap to another proprietary Cloud platform, what's to say the prices wont go up when you cannot roll back ?

  • Are you missing the point if you manufactor thr electricity you need by private generator or by private elctricity facility based on wi
    nd, waterfall, solar energy etc.?
    Usually the answer is yes you are missing the point, but for large enough organizations the answer may be no.
    For a very large enterprise with many Data Centers around the globe Private Cloud could be as beneficial as Public Cloud is for other enterprises.
    Size Matters.
    SMBs and Small Enterprises always lose by Private Cloud usage. They also miss the point.
    Private Cloud could be beneficial for large Enterprises but they still niss the point.
    Very Large Enterprises with Distributes Architecture including many Data Centers in different places may not even miss the point.

  • For me, what this survey illustrates is that beyond the surface, businesses are not necessarily about cost-effectiveness in the short-term but more about long-term profits for themselves (and probably security of ownership) of a potential cash cow that is the "cloud".

    It may not make sense seeing too much spending upfront but clearly companies are into 'cloud' whatever their definition of it.

    And one other thing, seems recession is but a distant memory.

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