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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)

On Cloud Lock-in, Standards, Decoupling and Why SaaS Does Not Scale

With security and legal concerns being slowly addressed by the industry, lock-in and standards are rapidly becoming the biggest concerns regarding cloud computing. If the cloud industry is to make good on its promise, these will need to somehow be addressed. Let’s examine some recent developments. Interesting to see how, just a week after my blog on “The Principles and Perils of Vendor Lock-in” *1 several vendors made announcements seemingly supporting my suggested approach. For example, after hinting at the potential benefit of decoupling SaaS and PaaS from its underlying Infrast... (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 t... (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 comput... (more)

Cloud Computing: More on Fabric Computing in the Cloud

In my last post I covered the concept of fabric computing and why it matters in the world of cloud computing.  With a "fabric" approach towards creating a cloud application, we include the virtual compute, storage and network components inside a fully software-based model of the service. This is distinctly different from a more traditional approach, where the various resources are added and configured one by one. In response to a comment, I also suggested that this new approach could be compared to a modern espresso machine.  Such a machine delivers a complete service (coffee!) -... (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 upcomi... (more)