Cloud: Fed up with all the hype of "cloud computing"?
By John Gillam, BT 26-Jul-2010
Read on for a profanity free way to look beyond the cloud, trap some of the vapor, and solidify it into something your business can actually use.
Let’s keep this short and avoid the usual page of text trying to describe what ‘it’ is -- instead, if required for context, lets use an excellent two-page description produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, 2009).
|"Cost efficiency for one thing, many organizations want to reduce their assets and shift their budget profile from a capital to an operational expenditure model."|
-- John Gillam, BT
In short, there have been a number of significant technology developments in the past years which make it commercially viable for service providers to provide IT solutions to meet your business needs, with the benefit of more flexible financial and operational characteristics.
So why bother?
Cost efficiency for one thing, many organizations want to reduce their assets and shift their budget profile from a capital to an operational expenditure model. Coupled with cost goes risk, and some aspects of risk are now much easier to manage with these models.
For example, whether your business is a start-up or well established, reducing as much capital outlay as possible is a prime concern when testing and developing new opportunities.
Services on offer today provide a pay for what you use and walk away when you are finished approach, with no strings attached. If you are looking longer term you will also benefit from being protected against technology pains either scaling to accommodate growth or keeping up to date with current, supported hardware and software.
These characteristics are the catalyst for the explosion of this market; they fuel innovation and enable an idea to be marketed and monetized at a rapid rate.
Getting on the right path
You have two choices, take the technology path, and be bogged down in the techno babble and minefield of acronyms and perceived benefits or, take the service path and seek out providers who understand how they can deliver the relevant services to meet your business needs.
For us there is far too much talk around tech and that route misses all the real benefits, after all, you are buying a service not technology. For us, the only route is the service route, we believe you need to focus on the business improvements you require not the technology you use.
Why is this different from the dotcom and ASP models that failed before?
Simply, the advances in hardware and software, specifically the ability for software to decouple what is used ‘logically’, from what’s used ‘physically’ has removed the biggest barrier service providers face, which is the ability to scale.
The industry has only reached reasonable maturity on this front in the last year or two. When coupled with intelligent networking all the physical barriers are removed and service providers can deliver the service without constraints of locality, where is most efficient and cost effective for you, all while meeting your business performance requirements.