There are many Cloud-related articles appearing on a daily basis in the IT media, but what is the Cloud and what does it really mean for us as an industry?
One of the things we need to understand is that the term ‘Cloud’ is just as elastic as the concept it represents.
You would be hard pressed to find the same answer given by multiple people – unless you ask several people working at the same Cloud vendor or provider.
Andrew Milroy of Frost & Sullivan listed on his blog, Weeding the Garden, 16 key attributes of Cloud Computing. In my opinion – in this dawning of the Age of Cloud – very few vendors would be able to identify to all 16 attributes.
While some may come close, they might find that a clause in their sales contract negates one of more of those attributes.
So while the Age of Cloud may be a little further along than the Wild West settlement in Cloud County – it is up to us to identify, describe, package, sell, resell, deliver and support these Cloud offerings.
So for an IT company to ride the Cloud bandwagon what do you need to do? Do you need to pull up stumps and move the wagon to the new camp being established on this new vein of gold? Do you need to send an advanced scouting party ahead to verify the finding and stake your claim? Or do you ignore the noise and keep operating your saloon because you have loyal customers?
I believe the answer is a mix of all of the above. As IT businesses – you need to choose what is right for your business model. While the Cloud is indeed a paradigm shift, it is also similar to what we’ve been doing before – just in a different way.
Born in the Cloud
Much the same as the term VoIP before it, Cloud is a term that is being used in much of the IT marketing collateral you can find. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to change your entire business to accommodate it. The view of ‘adopt or be left behind’ does not necessarily reign true.
While a lot of integrators, consultants and providers will adopt and focus on the cloud – there is still a lot of space for traditional IT offerings in the marketplace. Not everything needs to be in the Cloud.
My firm Paradyne is referred to as a ‘born in the Cloud’ partner – as we are a new IT company that has based its business model around Cloud offers.
In my opinion, we all need to adopt the Cloud as it offers great solutions that were previously not as readily available. However in doing so we need to make sure that it fits in with our business models.
While I strongly believe that every organisation can make use of some form of Cloud technology, it’s important to make sure that your head isn’t so far up in the clouds that you lose sight of your objective – the best solution for the customer.