April 23, 2013
    Everyone is talking about creating, using, or exploiting the numerous advantages of cloud computing. There are so many vendors out there saying so many things about why cloud is the perfect fit for you.

    Forrester Analyst James Staten delivered a thought provoking presentation on how to turn cloud economics to your advantage without the vendor hype.

    IT is being left out of many business discussions because of the requirement of speed to market and the perception that IT is the "Department of No."

    There are three sets of forces that are reshaping business technology: business ready, self-service technology; empowered, tech-savvy employees; radically more complex business environment.

    Business ready, self-service technology includes SaaS, mobile, tablets, and cloud platforms. The market in this area has exploded and grown much more rapidly that anyone anticipated. Cloud is no longer for test and development - you cannot ignore this trend.

    Self-sufficient, tech-savvy workforce is rising as well. It isn't the "young whipper-snapper" that brought a Mac into the workplace. These changes are now being driven by people with a "V" in their title.

    Your business environment will be radically more complex. By the year 2020, the US will be overtaken by China in terms of GDP. North American businesses will have to adapt and realize the size and importance of this market. New competitors, new products, new markets require the business to think and act drastically different.

    The initial reaction of IT is, "NO! What about security? You can't back that up! You can't..." IT needs to embrace the cloud via 5 Habits of Cloud-enabled IT Leadership.

    1. Embrace it where it fits. Understand what services are out there and what their economic models are.

    2. Get your hands dirty. If you know your business is using a cloud service and no one in IT has an account or access, you can't understand it. You need to know what your business is using.

    3. Acknowledge and leverage hybrid. Realize you are already hybrid if you have a SaaS application in use within your organization. You have to have performance management and capacity planning work all the time so you can see what is coming down the pipe.

    4.Plan for failure, plan for success. You have to understand that things fail in the cloud a lot. Traditional enterprise applications assumptions (stable, reliable hardware, static relationships, uninterrupted network, etc.) highlight why traditional applications struggle to run on true clouds.

    5. Run the numbers. Cloud is not always cheaper. Be informed of the cost and how the economics of cloud differ.

    The basics of cloud economics:
    1. Elastic scale delivers just-in-time capacity.
    2. Pay-per-use keeps costs low.
    3. Self-service fuels productivity.

    Stages of cloud economics:
    1. Scale-up: elastic and transient applications.
    2. Scale-down: application optimization and performance monitoring.
    3. Profit Center: new revenue streams and hybrid architecture.