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Cloud Computing

What do companies still not get about cloud computing?

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Asked a similar question a long while ago, i.e. What are the biggest misconceptions around cloud computing, but with the near ubiquity of the cloud, What do companies still not get about cloud computing?

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  • I disagree with the assessment that cloud is "near ubiquity" unless by "ubiquity" you mean "omnipresent in every piece of marketing collateral in existence today where it is accurate or not."

    I think companies do, in fact, "get" cloud computing. I think any resistance to adoption is based on unconvincing arguments that the trade-offs are worth the benefits today (primarily cheap compute). IT practitioners are well aware of the obstacles in terms of integration, big data synchronization, performance, security, compliance, reliability and control - all of which are complicated and made more difficult when cloud computing enters the picture. I think they are simply moving cautiously and looking for ways to avoid the pitfalls they know always occur when nascent technology like cloud is adopted too swiftly and without consideration for the ramifications down the road.

    I think most companies "get" cloud computing and are merely working out how best (if at all) to leverage it. If there remain misconceptions regarding cloud computing we have no one to blame but ourselves for calling everything connected to the Internet a "cloud".

  • Still a lot of misconceptions on public Cloud's safety, security, and risk. Most clouds are safer and more secure than your own corporate data center. There are approaches to mitigating risk of a failure, poor performance, or accesability, or prevention of loss of sensitive information.

  • I have to disagree with @Lori this time (a rarity, but nonetheless a reality). I don't believe companies really understand cloud computing to a degree that allows them to make coherent and non-emotional business decisions regarding its use.

    Let's look at what drives cloud computing today:
    1. Reduce costs either through headcount reduction or hardware costs. Sometimes both.
    2. I need to do it because all my competitors are doing it. A good model of handling this is how Jack Welch handled the web. GE didn't succumb sheepishly to the Internet craze, but considered how to harness it as a tool that would fit their brick and mortar culture.
    3. Unfounded and uninformed security fears. People are still not using the cloud effectively because they believe it's less secure than their own data centers.
    4. Job insecurity. IT influencers are pushing their company away from cloud as long as possible in fear their job will be made redundant and they will be laid off.

    This is just a brief handful of issues affecting businesses' ability to "get" cloud. Cloud is part of IT. Adopting it requires dealing with the nitty gritty nasty details of IT operations and figuring out if Cloud can make it cheaper, faster, better, etc.

  • It is clear to me from a recent seminar I attend that most people are uncertain about how to define the Cloud and that the whole concept has become more confusing over time rather than clearer. This is not surprising given that “The Cloud” has become an overused marketing concept claiming anything that runs outside the firewall. Meanwhile, techies tend to use a very narrow definition describing the Cloud as virtual servers accessed via the Internet – which is now more commonly being called “Cloud Computing.”

    Suffice it to say that most organizations are already using “The Cloud” whether they know it or not.

    The real question is what applications are best suited for Cloud Computing and what application traits send up a red flag when considering the Cloud.

    No doubt that when we look back on this time, the Cloud will be regarded as defining moment in the history of software development and a game changer for how businesses operate. And just like the platforms that have come before it and those that will come after it, the Cloud will continue to move through a period of convergence, followed by the adoption of standards, through the shakeout phase and ultimately a period of stabilization until of course the next disruptive platform comes along.

  • "Yeah we gotta do it. But who owns it, and who buys it?" Cloud as a term can cover so many departments and responsibilities within an enterprise.

    Is it general corporate IT infrastructure (stuff like shared drives, backups, security & email)? Or is it the company's revenue-driving edge where business functionality is developed and delivered to partners and customers (commerce and differentiated service offerings)?

    Often we are seeing larger companies with a more innovative bent hiring a "Cloud Czar" type executive or guru -- with a responsibility to overlay multiple organizations and map out a Cloud strategy. It's not always optimal, but at least then you have someone looking at the bigger picture.

  • I think companies still haven't understood all the legal implications, and that is very understandable. It is a real jungle. Here is an interesting rumor that hints at the difficulties in this area.

    Also, I happen to think that the biggest misconception around cloud is that about private clouds.

  • What companies are you talking about? SMB's get cloud very well and use it a lot. The reason is that it allows them to get up and running without need for IT assets or IT staff. That's the fundamental reason they go with it. For them it's cheaper, and they do not care too much about the potential security and availability issues. Large enterprises with loads of existing applications are in another ballgame. They have IT staff, they have IT assets, so they are looking for cost reduction while maintaining security and availability levels. And frankly, none of the large cloud service providers (Amazon, Google, Microsoft) have demonstrated they can guarantee the existing enterprise levels. That's why large enterprises are just trying things out, at least in the IT department. Business people getting angry at IT's lack of agility are bypassing them using cloud, generating " shadow IT", which brings a number of other issues, including potential breach of compliance and others. Large companies do not get the need for a clear cloud strategy and how cloud can help IT respond to the real needs of the business in a cost effective way. That will require quite some education.

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