In the lead-up to the live Techlines: Cloud Control broadcast, we thought we'll give you a little more background on our featured panellists. We've asked each of them five questions regarding cloud computing and specified that they be as brief as possible in the answers (there will be plenty of time to go into more detail on 17 February).
Ovum's Kevin Noonan
First up is Ovum research director for the public sector, Kevin Noonan. Kevin has also served as chief information officer for AusIndustry, the Australian Government's principal business program delivery division in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Here are his answers.
Why aren't companies moving faster to cloud computing?
Cloud computing rewrites the rulebook on many aspects of IT as we know it. There are many issues to consider, including procurement, data security, operations and service level management. CIOs have every right to be cautious. Suppliers also need to take a cautious approach while they become comfortable in delivering cloud services to the Australian market. We need to walk before we can run.
Which business systems are best suited to move to cloud computing?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) appears to have a great deal of attraction, as there are a number of local suppliers to choose from.
How easy is it to bring everything back in-house if a company decides to abandon the cloud?
It depends a great deal on what sort of systems are put out in the cloud. The best strategy is to start simple.
What's your response when someone says they "don't trust the cloud"?
I ask: do you use Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Google apps or for that matter, any search engine with added features? Cloud-based applications have been creeping into our personal use of IT for quite some time.
From a corporate perspective, quite a number of well-known companies are now offering Australian-based cloud services. Current suppliers include Telstra, Optus, Fujitsu, CSC, NEC and Macquarie Telecom. At a regional Asia-Pacific level, Salesforce.com now has over 7400 customers (reported May 2010).
Cloud is clearly a new technology and needs some caution, care and attention. However, it is growing and maturing very quickly.
Tell us one thing cloud computing isn't.
Could services aren't all overseas.
Hear more from Kevin and our other panellists at the TechLines: Cloud Control live broadcast, which will take place on ZDNet Australia at noon (AEDST) on 17 February. Check out the calendar feature in the right column to get a reminder closer to the event.