Clouds Are Forming: Are You Ready for the Storm? - InformationWeek

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10/27/2008
01:17 PM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
Commentary
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Clouds Are Forming: Are You Ready for the Storm?

Fellow TechWeb contributor Michael Biddick recently offered some great information on the cloud computing movement by taking a look at the factors that drive people to the clouds... While many IT leaders think the future is all about the clouds, many enterprises are slow to get off the bench.

Fellow TechWeb contributor Michael Biddick recently offered some great information on the cloud computing movement by taking a look at the factors that drive people to the clouds. He also addressed issues that keep people on the sidelines.

While cost was on the top of everyone's mind, other things such as 'going green,' and fixing internal IT issues were among the motives that sent many in search of better IT on the Web. However, some people said "Not so fast," especially when they considered the recent outages that demonstrated the downsides of depending upon SEI (Somebody Else's Infrastructure).While many IT leaders think the future is all about the clouds, many enterprises are slow to get off the bench.

"Although 65% of the business technology professionals we polled for our recent InformationWeek Analytics cloud computing report have not yet identified moving IT functions into the cloud as a priority, we expect that to change in fairly short order."

The core driver is business, or the ability to meet business demands more expeditiously. Indeed, sixty-five percent of poll respondents say the speed-to-production is a core benefit of cloud computing, and something that makes that platform attractive.

I'm sure the fact that many existing enterprise architectures are overly complex, complicated, and fragile has many thinking that they can just close the door on the old architecture, and rent a new house as an easy fix. The static nature of today's IT means that they lack the proper agility to keep up with the needs of the business. Cloud computing is one opportunity to fix that issue, when combined with a well-defined SOA strategy.

Another befit of cloud computing is efficiencies, or the ability to leverage what you need, when you need it. For example, the report had a good use case for going green.

"Case in point is a client that, based on our analysis of its lab environment, was utilizing its 200-plus servers, on average, at 9% capacity. What a waste. With cloud computing, there's no need to over engineer or manage capacity with the ability to provision new capabilities almost instantly. And if usage is decreasing, you can reduce resources in parallel, also cutting costs."

However, all is not good with cloud computing according to the report. The well-publicized outages of the Summer of 2008 left some distrustful of moving critical processes to the cloud. Moreover, security is often an afterthought, or not addressed properly within most cloud computing solutions. In addition, it's emotionally stressful to think about your critical business data existing somewhere other than your data center.

Clearly, there is still much to overcome in the world of cloud computing, but there are clear opportunities there. I'll make sure to bring news about all news about all cloud-related issues and opportunities to you here.Fellow TechWeb contributor Michael Biddick recently offered some great information on the cloud computing movement by taking a look at the factors that drive people to the clouds... While many IT leaders think the future is all about the clouds, many enterprises are slow to get off the bench.

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