To the Cloud!

In today’s IT world, you have heard of this concept of cloud computing….haven’t you? Of course! It’s everywhere and it’s the future. As in, more and more services are built on cloud technologies. But how does it impact you? Should you “move to the cloud”?

I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to talk with a small business that is growing rapidly. One question that came up was what my thoughts were on the cloud and, specifically, what I thought about hybrid solutions. Just to be clear, a hybrid solution is one that leverages both cloud and on-premise (traditional) systems together. My answer was simple. It depends.

A leader I highly respect verbalized a concept that I hadn’t realized I always believed in. He said that when looking for solutions, we shouldn’t look only at price or at features, but at what is the best fit for our organization. So, yeah, it depends.

The beauty of cloud computing is there are so many options to fulfill needs. There is Software-as-a-Service (applications running in the cloud so you don’t have to run them on-premise), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (basically your traditional data center, but virtualized on a cloud platform), Platform-as-a-Service (a combination of the two).

Those are examples….there are other managed services as well, where the cloud provider will not only provide the service, but maintain the underlying infrastructure to guarantee reliability.

All of these services provide high value to organizations. Furthermore, they disrupt the IT landscape. That sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true and it’s not a negative thing. These technologies, in a way, replace a lot of traditional IT roles. Technology is becoming holistically intrusive within all areas of business. I have stated before that IT is a lot more about people and process rather than pure technology. This has become more and more prevalent with the emergent of Everything-as-a-Service.

Many IT professionals I have worked with and spoken with fear this change and resist it. However, the new role we IT professionals must play is to be a steward for this bright new future. While it’s true that we may no longer need to build a server from scratch or install and configure a SQL server, we will have to be the guidance to the rest of the business what the best fit is with cloud computing.

So, whose future is cloud computing? Everyone’s. Every business. Every IT professional. On-premise, hybrid, cloud….it’s all a part of finding what the best fit is for an organization and shepherding leaders to know each components’ value. Also, to be able to create a scalable and seamless transition plan for future growth. That is the true value of the cloud.

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