Maybe you’ve noticed our recent ad campaign, “Cloud with Confidence“, in which we talk about the explosion of companies enabling their business via Cloud Computing activities -- Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds. One of my favorite parts of the messaging is that it doesn’t try and confine the definition of “cloud” as a single thing but instead it highlights the power of connectivity between people, information, markets and ideas. The value to businesses is the interaction and availability of all of these services to help them move from a great idea to a great implementation as quickly as possible.
But that’s just marketing, right? We live in an environment where people are skeptical of large claims and want to see results. Increasingly, they often want to see other people take the risk before them. Not only do we hear this from CIOs that are managing long-term strategies and budgets, but we also hear it from IT organizations that don’t want to do a lot of extra work if the benefits aren’t going to be there.
2010 saw a lot of attention, coverage, and interest building up around the private cloud. IDC’s “IT Cloud Services Survey” conducted in the second quarter of 2010 showed that “those who find private clouds more (and much more) appealing than public clouds outnumbered those who find private clouds less (or much less) appealing by over 5 to 1.”
All too often, vendors talk about products or features when customers really want solutions and “how do I get there?” models for evolving their business. Cloud Computing is a topic that definitely falls into the latter category because it isn’t a single piece of hardware or software, but rather it’s a new way to align business needs with technology capabilities.
For many companies, Cloud Computing represents both an opportunity and a challenge. From an opportunity perspective, it potentially represents a chance to leapfrog your competition by leveraging technology as a core driver of new business models. This would create a compelling business differentiation and it’s most likely what every CIO will be talking about in 2011. From a challenge perspective, it introduces some new types of change that your company will need to address, such as:
In the past, when talking with customers there would be a level of consistency between the CIO and the IT staff about priorities and needs. They needed to improve internal operations by deploying a new ERP system. They needed to improve workforce productivity by rolling out wireless access within the office and smartphones to their sales force. Business needs led to technology implementation.
But over the past year, those conversations have been changing. More and more, the CIO is looking to the IT department to drive new innovation for the business. In parallel, they realize that existing IT organizations have been built in silos to address previous business demands and this will need to change if they are expected to have cycles to drive innovation. Quite often, the CIO is asking how their company can begin to offer IT as a Service to the business, exploring the simplicity that is apparent with public or consumer Cloud Computing services. Read More »