Cloud Computing – another fad for the techies to disrupt the business
CIOs en masse are exploring the potential of the Cloud – but how much of this is to satisfy a real need, and how much is simply because this is the latest toy in town?
There is no doubt that Cloud computing will play a major part in the future of IT, in fact some suggest that Cloud will become the only method of IT service delivery – aside from specialist closed systems. With this in mind, we are seeing a push to “move things into the Cloud”, driven heavily by the need for greater agility and the potential for cost reduction. Whilst I would encourage businesses to explore the benefits associated with Cloud, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and Cloud is not the default answer to all questions.
In the world of Cloud, CIOs and IT managers must show clear leadership within their businesses in order to:
- demonstrate the value they add (and there is plenty) to business users wishing to put services into the Cloud
- show how resources need to be managed in the Cloud scenario
- ensure that the service can be performance managed as part of the wider portfolio
If they do not – they will undoubtedly be perceived as slowing the business down. Worse still business users may march ahead and procure Cloud services, independently of IT - an outcome that could actually increase rather than reduce costs.
In preparation for Cloud adoption CIO and IT managers must work with their business counterparts to understand the likely candidates for Cloud, ensuring that the appropriate governance mechanisms exist such that these decisions are made on firm foundations and do not unduly attract risk or that any risk is understood and hence can be managed. Consideration needs to be made with respect to:
- overall security and information policies
- criticality of services – not all are the same
- operational impact, including benefits and dis-benefits
Clearly a great deal can be achieved through Cloud adoption – but those embarking on it must understand (fully) what they are signing up to or risk losing credibility in following a fad.