Looking for a Defining Cloud Computing Moment

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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.