Cloud
Commentary
5/19/2010
03:54 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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The Cloud Does Not Mean Less Work

The word "abdicate" has cropped up in this blog in the last several days, as in "Since when does IT abdicate responsibility for [fill in the blank]…" There seems to be an impression that cloud computing means less work for IT, whether it's pushing security responsibility to end users or business managers, or ceding responsibility for performance to the service providers themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cloud computing means just as much work for IT (or somebody)

The word "abdicate" has cropped up in this blog in the last several days, as in "Since when does IT abdicate responsibility for [fill in the blank]…" There seems to be an impression that cloud computing means less work for IT, whether it's pushing security responsibility to end users or business managers, or ceding responsibility for performance to the service providers themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cloud computing means just as much work for IT (or somebody), just in new areas and in different ways.

Abdicate (verb, transitive). 1: to cast off; discard. 2: to relinquish (as sovereign power) formally.

In an InformationWeek Analytics 2010 survey, in response to the question, "How do you manage the health and performance of [your] SaaS application(s)?," almost three quarters of respondents (74%) answered, "Rely on the vendor." Only 18% replied, "Utilize our own tool," and 8% answered, "We do not manage performance."

Just because SaaS and cloud computing move processing off premises, IT cannot abdicate responsibility for any portion of that processing, whether it's security, compliance, or performance. Monitoring performance of cloud applications won't be as easy as monitoring internal network performance or even WAN performance, but it can, and must, be done.

Service providers are aware of customers' concerns about this and have gotten "transparency" religion, whereby they make available network and performance metrics. That's all well and good, but what if a dispute arises over performance and escalates to finger-pointing stage? Where is your data going to come from to back up your side of the argument?The word "abdicate" has cropped up in this blog in the last several days, as in "Since when does IT abdicate responsibility for [fill in the blank]…" There seems to be an impression that cloud computing means less work for IT, whether it's pushing security responsibility to end users or business managers, or ceding responsibility for performance to the service providers themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cloud computing means just as much work for IT (or somebody), just in new areas and in different ways.

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