Cloudy with a Chance of Pain

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The other day I heard an IT person moaning about how the outsourcing of applications to the cloud was taking jobs away from IT personnel. That point of view is completely out of touch with the reality of how technology is evolving. If he were to think about the bigger picture, he would see how the strengthening of the cloud would lead to an increase of focused IT jobs.

Phase 1 of cloud usage was driven by technical teams that were putting transient applications or non-production assets in the cloud. Now, we are quickly entering the next phase of the cloud, where applications that are moving to the cloud are core business functions and often more complex environments.  And they are also more likely to be hybrid. This is where some business people get concerned.

A recent study published in The WHIR shows that projects moving to the cloud for some of the well-known cloud vendors stall or fail over 50 percent  of the time. Is this because of complexity or because they are missing a hidden ingredient (like the technical expertise to make the project successful)? Or as I see it, most likely both. It’s time we stop looking at the cloud as the answer and start recognizing it for what it is— a utility. It’s not what it is that makes it valuable, it’s what we can do with it—just like electricity is of no value without the lights that leverage it. To make the cloud do what we want, we need the expertise to design the infrastructure to fit what we need to deliver our business solution.

In the long run, this market won’t be driven by cheap clouds—there will be a lot of them. It will be driven, or stalled, by the availability of cloud-proficient individuals to effectively use the cloud to deliver reliable, secure, ubiquitous and high-performing business applications. Anyone who thinks cloud computing is taking away jobs from IT people doesn’t understand this dynamic, and those who think the cloud is only about price or cost savings is still stuck in phase 1 view of the cloud. The cloud gives us the flexibility we need to deliver the right business solutions to market at reasonable costs.

You need the IT resources to ensure that you are successful in the move to the cloud and long-term as your run and manage within the cloud. However, by offloading the management of the infrastructure to a cloud vendor, your IT resources can focus on higher value business activities; for instance, rolling out new products and services, optimizing the operation of business applications, and leveraging new technologies, like mobile, to grow the business.

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  1. DoktorThomas™

    I disagree. The current state of cyber security is 1 on a ten scale. Any remotely held data is at risk; that fact is foreseeable leaving every cloud user and provider open to suit. FTP of data is a weak link that is not there with in-house storage. Long range costs for most will exceed adding servers locally where IT staff already are employed. Security is only as good the people who have access; ethical quality people are a rarity. They are in short supply these days; too short to run those companies left standing (after interference in the marketplace, over-regulating and over-taxing) in the USA. (All the articles here, and elsewhere, should be focused on control and reigning in of the oppressive, not these side issues.) Like lawyers, IT people with same degree are far from equal. The cream has epiphany and does their own thing, leaving the dregs to facilitate the system they fled. Credentialing is a false panacea. The "cloud" is an intermediate step making all computers merely workstations with no true computing power. Stay tuned; "cloud-bomb" ahead. ©2014 Doktor Thomas™. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, paraphrased, nor redistributed without written permission. All statutory exemptions specifically revoked by author. Protected by Amendment, Federal law and international treaty. For educational use only--not intended as legal, medical, accounting nor tax advice; for readers to use as such violates TOS and may entail financial penalty and other sanctions.