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4/25/2010
10:25 AM
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Wanted: A Rational Approach To Cloud Adoption

Is it just me, or does the cloud computing frenzy smack of the Internet start-up frenzy of the late 90s? I'm not saying that cloud services shouldn't be part of the portfolio of choices for organizations that are considering new IT systems - they should be. But are organizations are taking a rational approach to cloud service adoption?

Is it just me, or does the cloud computing frenzy smack of the Internet start-up frenzy of the late 90s? I'm not saying that cloud services shouldn't be part of the portfolio of choices for organizations that are considering new IT systems - they should be. But are organizations are taking a rational approach to cloud service adoption?Here's one test. Does your organization's "cloud lifecycle" begin with a sales dude? My hypothesis is that our latest research about the matter may reveal that it frequently does begin with a sales call, instead of with a rational organizational discussion about the pros and cons.

As with most things, hype begins at the top. I was very interested to discover that President Obama's 2011 budget refers to "less intensive and less expensive cloud-computing technologies" as a key strategy of "closing the technology gap". That's, um, fantastic, but where's the restraint? Just about every new IT delivery system promises "less intensive and less expensive". Wouldn't you classify categorical adoption as the same type of irrational exuberance that brought you the Internet bubble? Might it be more conservative (something that financial and budgeting people are always exhorting us to be) to state cloud computing "as a potentially less expensive option"?

Beginning the cloud discussion with everything on the table -- the pitfalls, the benefits, the short term ROI, and the long term ROI -- is the rational way to consider adoption, no matter how sexy cloud is today. To begin the discussion with a foregone conclusion, prior to conducting analysis at your organization is not rational.

Hopefully, organizations are (mostly) being rational, but history tells us that they probably aren't. Our upcoming analytics report will dig into cloud adoption and ROI practices in organizations, and give us some current data on the matter.

And, if you're attending Interop this week, my colleagues Art Wittmann and Michael Biddick and I will be on an InformationWeek Analytics panel called "Preparing for the Cloud". Don't miss it - not only is it a chance to hear what your peers are doing, bounce some ideas off of us, and find out what our latest research is, but you'll also have a chance to win over $2,000 of prizes. C'mon down!

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