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The ultimate dream of any marketer is to have its brand become a verb. “Let me quickly Xerox that”, “I Fedexed it to you yesterday”, “I just Googled it”. In cloud computing I do not see that happening any time soon. At least I haven’t heard anyone say they Amazoned their intranet or forced their custom apps yet. But it is also unlikely we will be calling it cloud computing forever. Cloud computing is not the first new kind of computing. Previously we saw “interactive computing” - indicating that it was no longer processed in an overnight batch – and “client/server computing” –indicating it ran with a graphical user interface and not on a boring green screen terminal. But pretty soon the new way became the norm and we resorted back to simply calling it “computing.” For cloud computing there are basically two options, we will either call it computing again – meanin... (more)

Can the Real Cloud Market Size Please Stand Up?

It seems like every week another sizing of the cloud market is published, and – maybe as to be expected - none of them seem to agree. Let’s have a look at who is saying what, and whether we are comparing apples to apples, or apples and oranges. We will start by looking at SaaS. The most recent numbers from IDC claim that SaaS revenue will grow 5 times faster than traditional packaged software. This would mean little if traditional packaged software is expected to no longer grow (five times zero would still be zero). Joe McKendrick at ZDNet took IDC’s numbers and extrapolated from them that “very soon, a third of all software will be delivered via cloud.” This seems to directly contradict Gartner numbers from just a month earlier. In June Gartner released a report stating that “Software as a service (SaaS) will have a role in the future of IT, but not the dominant future... (more)

Counting Down To Cloud Expo Silicon Valley

Just back from Gitex (more about this later) and it is only one week to go to Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, which starts Monday November 1st. I will be speaking in track 4 “Real-World Cloud Computing & Virtualization” on Wednesday at 6:25 PM (the cloud is no 9-5 affair) about How Cloud and Virtualization Are Changing the Way Business and IT Will Interact. After speaking about this in Prague in June I was invited to give my perspectives also at the event in Santa Clara. Only 5 months have passed, but in cloud terms that is a life time. Come by and check out what has changed. If you cannot wait for that, have a quick peek at the below conversation I had with Brian McKenna of Reed publishing at a recent event in London (which by the way is tipped as the location for Cloud Expo Europe 2011). It was after "The BIG debate: Outsourcing versus Cloud" a keynote panel with repre... (more)

Rogue Users and the Future of Corporate IT

Cloud computing can be seen as an important enabler for more user and business empowerment. Traditionally we consideredany IT outside the IT department’s purview“Rogue IT” or “Shadow IT”.  In this blog we examine how further user empowerment may impact the future of corporate IT. Rogue IT (sometimes called shadow IT or consumerism) is the phenomena in which employees outside the IT department deploy IT technology to achieve or automate certain tasks. Rogue IT is not a new phenomenon. But cloud computing is giving it a new runway and much better camouflage, since with cloud computing you do not need to secretly misuse a server that IT made available for another purposes or explain to your colleagueswhy you have all these computers under your desk. The idea of IT outside the IT department is enjoying renewed interest. Ted Schadler of Forrester wrote an interesting artic... (more)

Audits and Certificates Won't Erase Cloud Security Concerns

In every cloud survey, security consistently comes out as an inhibitor to cloud adoption. Even though this has been the case for several years, many feel that it is a temporary barrier which will be resolved once cloud offerings get more secure, mature, certified, and thus accepted. But is this indeed the case or do we need another approach to overcome this barrier? During a recent cloud event, two speakers from a large accounting and EDP auditing firm took the stage to discuss the risks of cloud computing. While one speaker dissected the risks for both consumers and providers of cloud services, the second speaker discussed the various certifications and audit schemes that are available in each area. They acknowledged that with the currently available certifications, not all risks were covered, but their envisioned remedy was even more comprehensive certification... (more)

Is Your Cloud Strategy 3D-Ready?

While the TV and consumer industry is getting ready for its next wave of innovation called 3D, the IT industry has been going through a similar three dimensional transformation. Let’s have a closer look at this 3D journey of IT and how a good cloud strategy should support all three dimensions. And don’t worry, you won’t need to wear funny 3D glasses to read this blog. Cloud computing is not the first innovation to hit IT – although the amount of hype and blogs seem to indicate otherwise - ever since the first computer got carried into the building all the way to the latest generation of tablets, the way we use IT, the things we use IT for and IT itself has been changing profoundly. We can classify these changes along three dimensions: Extending IT’s reach to new users and into new functional areas, Abstracting problems so they can be managed at new conceptual levels a... (more)

The Day the Cloud Was Out!

Some blogs percolate for a while, waiting for a good day to be put to paper. For this one - about the cost of reliable cloud - that day was April 21, the day a network mishap caused an outage at Amazon Web Services taking down more than 100 customers, many of which cloud providers themselves, in its aftermath, while at the same time a similar mishap at Sony PlayStation´s network stopped about 70 million gamers from connecting. A lot has been written about the outage, so I won't repeat that here (if you want to catch up suggest you read: TechCrunch for the PlayStation story, GigaOM for an overview of the Amazon issue, eWeek for some interesting analysis and the DotCloud blog for a very readable explanation of day to day use of a public cloud service like Amazon). Instead, let's focus on the big picture of the cost of reliable cloud, comparing it - again - with the mo... (more)

Of These Ten Most Hated Jobs, How Many Did You Have?

Earlier this week Yahoo Finance ran an article on the 10 most hated jobs (based on a survey asking hundreds of thousands of employees at a major career site). What amazed me most - apart from the large number of IT jobs, including the top one,  making the list – was that I personally was employed in no less than five of these . Now you may think: “What a miserable career that must have been!”, but to be honest, it never felt like that.  Sure I can relate to some of dissatisfiers that people listed, such as a lack of direction from upper management (actually described for one of these jobs - guess which one - as “employers are unable to communicate coherently, and lack an understanding of the technology”). But overall I had good fun doing most of my five. In fact, some of my other jobs – although fun at the time - would have been more logical to make the list. As a s... (more)

Cloud Predictions Beyond 2011 - Part 1: Consumer Services Rule

In the past weeks we launched directly from the season of cloud events into what SYS-CON calls the Annual Predictions Bonanza. Gartner released its predictions on December 1 leading with "critical infrastructure will be disrupted by online sabotage."  At CIO magazine Bernard Golden gave two  interesting points of view, one for vendors and one for users, and even CA Technologies offered insights into the changes we expect in 2011, including how "security will shift from being perceived as a cloud inhibitor to becoming a cloud enabler." So, what happens after 2011?  In a few upcoming blogs I will highlight some "megatrends" that I believe are happening - or need to happen - in the decade about to start. (Now, you may argue that the decade started a year ago, but starting to count at zero is very "old school IT" and "old school IT" is definitely not what we are going t... (more)

Cloud Predictions Beyond 2011-12: The Need for a Cloud Abstraction Model

If the cloud is to fulfill on its promise we need to start thinking of it as a cloud, not as an aggregation of its components (such as VMs etc.) As mentioned in a previous post I‘ll use some of my upcoming posts to highlight some cloud computing "megatrends" that I believe are happening - or need to happen – beyond 2011. One of these would be the creation of an “abstraction model” that can be used to think about (and eventually manage) the cloud.  A nice setup to this was done by Jen-Pierre Garbani of Forrester, who in a recent post at Computerworld UK talks about the need to Consider the Cloud as a solution not a problem.   In this is he uses the example of the T-ford -which was originally designed to use the exact same axle with as roman horse carriages, until someone come up with the idea of paving the roads - to argue that cu... (more)

Shedding Light on Cloud Computing - A Free Primer

Cloud Computing is the most discussed IT innovation of recent times. This Primer provides a structured overview of what Cloud Computing is and what the potential benefits and risks are. In addition it explores how Cloud Computing will impact IT management and IT's role in the organization as a service provider. It also looks at the risks of Cloud Computing. Risk is consistently cited by CIOs and CFOs as the largest obstacle of cloud computing for their organizations. In this primer we consider the risks in areas such as availability, privacy and regulatory compliance. The booklet explores some of the reasons why organizations want to implement Cloud Computing, to name just a few: cost-savings, increased speed and flexibility and higher performance. It looks at how the Cloud delivers against these expectations and debates its long term viability. The Cloud Computin... (more)