For some time I have been watching the march of new Cloud Based Services fill the ecosystem with More…well Everything. There is Desktop-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Software-as-a-Service, IT-as-a-Service…basically if it can be a Service…someone will make it that way.
So with this whole phenomenon that is transforming computing from a install and support model to one that is basically Not Here…what can the Cloud not Do? Over on TechCrunch, Alexander Haislip looked to address that very question this week. I really liked the fact that Alexander went on record as saying quite plainly:
IaaS is progress and cloud computing makes everything else obsolete. To suggest otherwise is to be labeled a Luddite.
Yet reality doesn’t mesh with this simplistic vision…The cloud doesn’t replace on premise computing, it adds to it.
The challenge that is faced by organizations regardless of size is the simple matter of the business demands to fall into the over hyped and often unrealistic promises being made to non-IT Professionals. The “Sales Guys” from Cloud Services know better than to hit up IT Pros directly and they are targeting the other executives within organizations to be able to get their new “as-a-Service” in under the radar. This is the challenge that IT Pros are facing today, being rendered irrelevant by a slick talking Sales Guy talking to Sue in Marketing, John in Finance and Mary in HR.
The Cloud can do many things and what it does it does very well. The day of the Personal Cloud may soon be upon us but for now, in a world of tighter and tighter regulations that range from HIPAA, PCI, SOX, PIPEDA and the list goes on…treading softly in the world of the cloud is imperative. For IT Professionals it is time to build the bridge between IT and the other Enterprise Departments.
Perform Risk Assessments with the Leaders of the Enterprise. Where the Cloud is a good fit, then adopt it, the advantages are in many cases to great to simply ignore but where the risk does not balance with the reward…step away from the Magic Carpet Ride…and evaluate how you may be able to focus on simplifying your own Internal Cloud and make life easier for all by working within your existing infrastructure to build a secure, internal option that provides users with the capabilities they want, while balancing the risk with the ability of the organization to support the decision.
The Evolution of Computing is absolutely moving down the path of a new version of itself, with increased focus on Mobility and the Cloud will be a direct part of that push as it becomes less and less about the hardware and more about the experience. Will there still be a place for IT in a few years…IMHO there is no real danger of the need going away, but the change is happening now and the shift to a much more targeted focus on Vendor Management and Business Analysis is a very real challenge.
Being a part of the decision making process for hundreds of companies is both a challenge and an honour and I would not change it for the world. That being said, Tuesday is calling me…have to run!
Chris J Powell