Companies can't handle the cloud computing truth; You're not ready

Companies can't handle the cloud computing truth; You're not ready

Summary: Despite all the chatter about cloud computing, most companies aren't even close to being ready for it.

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Despite all the chatter about cloud computing, most companies aren't even close to being ready for it.

In a Forrester Research note, analyst James Staten starts off with a sledgehammer:

Cloud computing — a standardized, self-service, pay-per-use deployment model — provides companies with rapid access to powerful and more flexible IT capabilities and at price points unreachable with traditional IT. Although many companies are benefitting from public cloud computing services today, the vast majority of enterprise infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals view outside-the-firewall cloud infrastructure, software, and services as too immature and insecure for adoption. Their response: “I’ll bring these technologies in-house and deliver a private solution — an internal cloud.” However, cloud solutions aren’t a thing, they’re a how, and most enterprise I&O shops lack the experience and maturity to manage such an environment.

Why are these IT shops immature? They don't have standard processes, automation or virtualized infrastructure. If company has a greenfield to play with the cloud is an option, argues Staten. Most companies will take years to create cloud computing infrastructure internally.

Also: Choosing the right cloud platform

You're not yet a cloud - get on the path today

It's hard to argue with Forrester's take. There's a lot of not-so-sexy grunt work to do before cloud computing is an option. IT services often aren't standardized and you need that to automate. Meanwhile, various business units inside a company are rarely on the same infrastructure.

Staten argues that cloud computing will be a lot like virtualization adoption.

It took time to virtualize your server environment, and the same will be true with internal cloud computing. It’s been more than 10 years since server virtualization debuted, and only recently did it become mainstream, with more than 60% of enterprises using it on their x86 infrastructure. But we’re not done. As of September 2009, enterprises reported that less than half of their x86 server population was virtualized and that they would, on average, only get to 65% of their x86 servers virtualized by the end of 2010.

Nevertheless, companies have to at least start dabbling with cloud computing with new projects because developers and business unit leaders are already headed there. In any case, the march to cloud computing begins with a hard look at your IT infrastructure. Right now, you're likely to have the march of a million cloud computing pitches. Staten notes:

You can’t just turn to your vendor partners to decode the DNA of cloud computing. They are all defining cloud in a way that indicates that their existing solutions fit into the market today — whether they actually do or not. The term “cloud” is thrown around sloppily, with many providers adding the moniker to garner new attention for their products.

More: Amazon, Google in investment mode; Building clouds isn't cheap

Topics: Virtualization, Cloud, Hardware, Servers

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4 comments
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  • RE: Companies can't handle the cloud computing truth; You're not ready

    IT doesn't matter. The business side is buying the cloud. IT will be left holding the bag on legacy infrastructure costs which will prevent them from moving to the cloud.
    curph
  • RE: Companies can't handle the cloud computing truth; You're not ready

    Agreed - left holding the bag, then outsourced and left for dead. The only survivors are those who are not merely plumbers, but add real value to businesses.
    dstein42
  • RE: Companies can't handle the cloud computing truth; You're not ready

    Yep, and they have no concerns at all about security, reliability of service and exposure to having their business held for ransom.
    Get your head out of the clouds, a little paranoia is a useful thing in business.
    Clockwork Computer
    • At last - a sane comment...

      @Clockwork Computer <br>Totally agree with you. Everyone's buzzing around like flies around poo, thinking that the "cloud" will solve all their computing woes. Give me direct control and security at a higher cost - ANY day. Still, we should not be surprised. There is very big money pushing the globalisation of "IT" thru the "cloud" - and once everything IS globalised, control will go out the window. That is to say, OUR control will go out the window. The cloud is the computer world's new socialist collective. And lest we all forget the immortal words of Animal Farm: "Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others". And you can bet "they" will have "concerns" that abrogate "our" privacy - because "they" are more equal than "us".<br><br>Another thing: the cloud is only even vaguely useful if there are 2 other things - fast broadband (forget that in small countries like NZ - how well do you think cloud runs on 4mbps down, 128kbps up?) and 99.9% up-time.<br><br>Oh yeah, an obvious "let's not talk about it because it's all just conspiracy-theory paranoia": Cloud tech is an IT-terrorists dream come true: soon they will have a "few" centralised targets that they can either destroy or steal from, instead of millions of "spread far and wide". Now there's a comforting thought... <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
      naibeeru