Seven Signs of Cloud in the Corner Syndrome

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Seven Signs You've Backed Your Cloud into a Corner

There are many opportunities to make strategic errors that wind up doing more harm than good.

A lot of IT organizations are in a rush today to be seen doing something about cloud computing. Most of that pressure is coming from the corner office, which has become convinced that the path to lower IT costs is through the cloud.

But unless those cloud computing efforts are actually tied to some operational goal defined by the business, John Treadway, director of global cloud computing solutions for Unisys, warns that the chances are high that the cloud computing project is just going to wind up becoming yet another stack of IT software sitting on top of a new server that has to be managed in isolation alongside everything else the IT department already has installed.

To help IT organizations better align their IT strategies with an actual business outcome, Unisys has come up with seven signs that are indicative of cloud computing projects that will soon be backed into another corner of the data center. To combat that, Treadway says that Unisys has created an eight-track methodology for building and deploying cloud computing systems that are tightly coupled with a company's operational goals.

But the real issue, says Treadway, may be the simple fact that organizations simply get too enthralled with the technology. There is a real tendency to embrace the latest technologies in the hope that its mere presence will drive some unspecified series of changes. When those changes fail to materialize, we then go through a period of profound disenchantment with the new piece of technology, only to discover its true vale some years later when the organization as whole finds itself in a position to finally exploit it.

Rather than hoping and praying that process happens sooner than later, Treadway says organizations need to develop a real strategic plan that tightly couples investments in cloud computing to a series of specific business outcomes. Unfortunately, cloud computing is still a little bit of an amorphous concept to a lot of folks and while that's improving, it's hard to build a financial case for investing in the cloud when no one is sure what the goal was supposed to be in the first place.

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