There are many articles on the Internet about cloud computing, and I have written quite a few myself, covering all sorts of subjects from history to future trends, advantages, disadvantages, what it is, what is not, etc. Lately, there seem to be more and more people querying the nature of cloud computing services, is it really about technology as much as it is a business model? Of course, there are also articles describing the cloud as an over-hyped marketing ploy, but let's just concentrate on the facts.
In one of my previous posts, "Who’s Afraid of the Cloud?", I said that cloud computing comes with a value proposition and is not about competing technologies but is a new, business-oriented model. This is one way of looking at it, but without the technology the business model would not be possible.
- The business model says that computing services will be provided, on demand, how and when they are needed, quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively. This is a new way of ensuring a business has the IT support it needs, by fulfilling services, terms and costs. The discussion is no longer about how many servers we need, how many IT specialists, how many licenses we need, and how long will it take to make it happen.
- The technology is really what makes cloud computing possible. Cloud computing is, at its core, about IT capabilities. It is about providing the same resources, applications, infrastructure, platforms but now in a scalable way using the Internet to access them. This is a challenge to the IT industry, both software and hardware, and a driver for technological progress to respond to demands covering very diverse services but also a significant (and constantly increasing) number of different devices.
What this means is that the technology has to do what it has always done, provide the best services to support the business. The business can now stop trying to understand and worry about IT capabilities and concentrate on what they do best.
Cloud computing simplifies IT services and makes them more cost effective for business but requires the IT industry as a whole, but especially the professionals working within it, to raise their game, not only technically but also to become more business savvy. I said it before, as others before me, it is a “brave new world”, full of excitement and possibilities.