There is Only One Cloud-Computing Myth

The only cloud-computing myth is that there are cloud-computing myths.

Instead, there are many articles about cloud myths, an endless parade of strawman arguments put out by writers, analysts, and marketers that lectures us on why we’re so stupid to believe the “myths” that cloud is inexpensive, is easy to deploy and maintain, that it automatically reduces costs, etc.

Anyone who’s ever written a line of code or approved an enterprise IT contract knows there are no simple solutions and no universal solvents in their world. Never have been and never will be.

However, there are many powerful arguments in favor of enteprises migrating some of their apps and processes to the cloud, and there is a separate consumer-cloud industry that allowed me to listen to Igor Presnyakov rip through AC/DC’s “All Night Long” and Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” on my Android phone last night.

I thank Google for the latter opportunity, even as the company remains as enigmatic as Mona Lisa about what’s going on behind the scenes.

It’s too bad Google is not one of our great sharers, because the enterprise IT shops of the world could no doubt learn a lot more about cloud computing from watching Google at work than it can from using Google Apps.

But enough whining. Each organization needs to find its own cloud, and this should be a rigorous, perhaps time-consuming process. Discussion of particular cloud strategies and vendors should come at the end of this process. First, figure out what you want to do and why.

A nice cost analysis is helpful, of course, but my brain starts to seize up when the term “ROI” is put into play. At this point, it becomes a contest to game the system and produce an ROI forecast that will have a false advertising of direct impacts of the technology on the company’s business. When used to justify technology, ROI and its sinister cousin, TCO, are the enemies of business success.

A nice thing about cloud is that the heated political and religious debates over Open Source have been (mostly) replaced by practical arguments over which specific product, framework, or architecture provides the best option for a particular initiative. If discussion of cloud should come at the end of the overall decision-making process, discussion of Open Source should come at the end of that discussion.

Don’t try to transform the organization overnight. This will happen on its own as more and more cloud floats into the enterprise. And don’t believe in the myth that there are cloud myths. There aren’t; only more wondrous technology that needs to be examined carefully as you continue the eternal quest to keep things as unscrewed up as possible in your organization.

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