Looking for a Defining Cloud Computing Moment

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Just How Strategic is the Cloud?

Most see cloud computing as a strategic move, but security is still a prime concern.

There's obviously a lot debate over the potential impact of cloud computing in the enterprise. And while everybody might not be working from the same definition of cloud computing, it's interesting how many people are convinced that cloud computing is a major strategic direction for their company.

A new survey from Hubspan, a provider of business process integration services delivered via the cloud, finds that interest in all things cloud is very high. But when the combination of internal IT inertia, reduced budgets and security concerns are topped off by the simple fact that no one's 100 percent sure what cloud computing is, action on cloud computing slows dramatically.

According to Margaret Dawson, vice president of marketing and product management for Hubspan, it's pretty clear that cloud computing represents a new model for the way we consume IT resources. But whether companies should use cloud computing services or build cloud computing platforms themselves is still up in the air. In the meantime, senior executives are creating cloud computing mandates for their organizations will little understanding of how those initiatives might be implemented. That leaves a lot up in the air, one reason that the survey finds that IT and business executives are roughly even in terms of who is considered responsible for setting the organizations cloud computing strategy.

Dawson says tht she hopes that much of the debate about cloud computing, particularly at the infrastructure level, will soon disappear so companies will turn their attention more toward the implications of integrating business processes across the cloud.

The one thing that senior executives do seem to understand is that cloud computing has become a euphemism for self-service IT infrastructure that can more easily adapt to the changing needs of the business. They don't exactly know how to get that just yet, she said, but they do know they want it.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 14, 2010 5:41 AM Doug Alder Doug Alder  says:

Mike please accept this invitation to join Rackforce Networks Inc, Cisco, and Long View (a Canadian systems integrator) for a Webinar on Cloud services on October 28th, 2010. More details and registration available at http://www.getperfectstorm.com/

RackForce is an IaaS provider and is leading he way in next generation data centers and cloud computing.

Oct 15, 2010 4:29 AM Aditya T Aditya T  says:

As clearly stated in your post " companies will turn their attention more toward the implications of integrating business processes across the cloud."

It is important to start understanding and experiencing the benefits that the Cloud delivers to business rather than scrutinizing the definition itself. Many Cloud providers such as WOLF http://www.wolfframeworks.com/ clearly articulate the ROI, cost and time benefits to customers and help them get on board while minimizing lock-in.

Oct 17, 2010 7:32 AM Cloud_Zone Cloud_Zone  says:

Is it a case of trust then? Not knowing enough about the technology? Not wanting to make any sort of IT infrastructure move? Not enough security? Basically, it boils down to not enough proof. Proof that cloud computing is for sure the way to go. I think it is and the only way to understand it completely, and know all its benefits is to research and experiment as much as possible. By testing the water and moving some low risk security applications into the cloud would be a good start. Research is the key for any cloud move. Providers need to be 100% transparent with what they are offering, but also need to manage their client's expectations, more so if they are not sure about the technology. Clients also need to make sure their providers have disaster recovery plans in place and have prepared and thought of any eventuality, as you would have done. I see cloud computing as IT freedom. Some will say that comes at the cost of security, but I don't think everyone will move all their critical information into the cloud, at least not yet.


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