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How do you measure your Cloud Computing strategy?

In sports, when looking at the record books we often find that most of the records are held by current players. In most cases this get attributed to the fact that the games change over time and certain elements are emphasized over others. Maybe it’s passing over running in football, home runs instead of stolen bases in baseball, or dunks over jump shots in basketball. Whatever it is, we eventually accept that the new approach to the game is going to lead us to viewing measurements differently.

For some reason, that same mentality doesn’t seem to apply to changes in how we leverage IT technologies to drive our businesses. While we now live in a world where change happens at 2x, 3x and sometimes 5x what it did in the past, but we’re still using measurements that are centered in a world where IT is primarily focused on keeping the operations running and keeping the costs down. Measurements like Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are primarily focused on upfront costs of equipment or a level of labor that is often ignored after the initial ROI calculations are complete. But what happens when a new system is able to take on orders of magnitude more work them previous systems, which often happens with server virtualization projects, so IT handles more capacity? Do ROI and TCO really account for that increased productivity properly? Read More »

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Is “5 years” the new decade for Data Center and Cloud?

Yesterday Google announced a change in their executive leadership. There is much speculation about why it happened, but the immediate consensus is that it was focused on driving change faster within the company. That may be right or it may be wrong. Every company goes through some executive changes over time, but the more interesting area to explore is how this fit into a broader “industry timeline” perspective.

For the first 5 years of the past decade, Google was the belle of the ball. It became a verb. It changed the way we find, use and look at information.  It didn’t invent search, but it built a better mousetrap and changed the world in amazing ways. People predicted that it would replace the Internet!! And then the “social Internet” happened and people started finding more interesting information from Facebook and Twitter instead of Search and RSS. The business of information changed, just as many other industries go through change. Nobody truly saw it coming, but the last 5 years of the decade were much different from the first 5 years. And while Google is still “it” in Internet search, they aren’t really “it” in social Internet. People can speculate all they want about if this is a strategy issue or execution issue, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that people are legitimately talking about Google as a “maybe they missed it” in this decade. And that’s an interesting discussion because of the pace at which it happened. About 5 years. [NOTE: I'm not predicting, assuming or implying anybody's demise. I'm a huge Google fanboy. It's the pace of change that's interesting to me.]

So what does all of this mean for companies that aren’t Google, or aren’t one of the core pillars of the Internet? What if you make cars, or pharmaceuticals, or widgets? Maybe you’re a brick and mortal retailer. What if your business isn’t in the hyper-competitive information business? Read More »

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