Why Should IT Directors, VP's, CIO's and CEO's Care About Cloud Computing?

Business managers know that in spite of the benefits of every new technology/business model, there are also risks and issues like trust, loss of privacy, regulatory violation, data replication, coherency and erosion of integrity, application sprawl, and dependencies, among others.

Therefore they realize that rushing things when it comes to Cloud Computing can be a very bad decision. However, ignoring Cloud Computing all together, because of a belief in your ability to secure your own environment better than a service provider ever could, or jumping rapidly into it because the many claims made about Cloud Computing have led you to the point of "irrational exuberance" and unrealistic expectations, isn't smart either.

This following articles will contain useful information even if your company (either private company or public organization) has already decided not to use Cloud Computing in the near future. It is likely that unbeknownst to you, some of your departments are already using Cloud Computing, and you will need to define a Cloud Governance Program and make it available to all your internal customers.

For instance, if your company has an IT department, one must agree that it is very tempting for software developers, pressed to demonstrate a proof of concept, to use a Cloud Computing service provider and configure the servers there (in minutes or hours), instead of waiting days or months for new server acquisitions to be approved, delivered, set up by IT, have the network configured, and so on.

Or maybe it is your sales department that decides to go to a Cloud Computing service provider and start using their Cloud Computing CRM immediately, instead of waiting months to have an onpremise CRM program, and you will only become aware of this initiative when they ask to integrate it with the billing and finance programs.

After all, all they need is a credit card (if the cost is low it may well be within the discretionary budget of the department, and in some situations not even a credit card is required because some Cloud offerings are free), to start using any Cloud Computing service immediately, and in true agile fashion, instead of asking permission to use it, they may be asking you for forgiveness after they have already done so...

Also, a relatively young company, without a huge IT infrastructure, will tend to move more quickly to the Cloud, be able to enter and build new "markets" more rapidly, and thus achieve competitive advantages over more traditional businesses.

And this last paragraph, made me remember the following "analogy":

Two guys are swimming in the ocean when they notice a shark and one guy takes off swimming towards the boat, while the other says, "What are you doing? We can't swim faster than a shark", the other replies, "I don't need to swim faster than a shark, just faster than you." (source Einstein, Sharks and Clouds)

In the nexts articles, I will try to explain the followings points:
- Cloud Computing Equals to SaaS, Grid, Utility Computing, Hosting?
- What Exactly is Cloud Computing?
- Why Large Public and Private Sector Organizations (not just SMB's) Are Seriously Considering Cloud Computing?
- What are the Cloud Computing Challenges and Risks?
- Real-World Cloud Computing Applications
- Cloud Computing Enterprise Implementation Road-Map

Thanks, and please let me know how can I help you.
Maria Spínola

P.S. Also see http://blog.mariaspinola.com/2009/08/cloud-computing-in-plain-english-to-it.html

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