Cloud Computing – just a hype or change of paradigm?

In a webinar on Thursday I’ll talk about the hype and reality of Cloud Computing. It is interesting to observe that Cloud Computing made it beyond the IT magazines and into the business/economic publications. But the promises you find there (at least in German publications) are probably somewhat overhyped.

From my perspective, there are some things to note:

  • Cloud Computing is, in many areas, built on existing approaches – anyhow, there are many new aspects in it
  • Cloud Computing will change the IT landscape of organizations fundamentally
  • Cloud Computing will provide new business opportunities – some of the promises from the “internet bubble” some 10 years ago will become reality
  • Cloud Computing will influence the economics of IT – for vendors, providers, integrators, and customers
  • Cloud Computing will take its time to become reality
With other words: Yes, Cloud Computing is something that goes well beyond a hype. It is a fundamental shift in IT which can be compared with the introduction of Personal Computers or the Internet becoming a mass market. But it will take some time. Some of the key elements of a successful Cloud Computing infrastructure are still relatively immature. The organizational readiness, application and management platforms, and cloud security, to name just a few, are far from being mature.

On the other hand there are some obvious advantages and promises that will drive adoption. Reliable, flexible services at a fixed price are attractive. For sure, some vendors and some solutions will disappear. Others will appear. But overall, Cloud Computing as a concept is a must for today’s organization. It has to be evaluated as part of any IT strategy. But Cloud Computing isn’t a no-brainer. A strong strategy and a clear view on threats and opportunities is mandatory to do the (partial) move to the “cloud” successfully. But overall, the approach of Cloud Computing will lead to a situation where we understand IT as set of services which we can “orchestrate” (at a higher level than only within applications) and exchange in a flexible way. And that service view will also heavily affect what we do in internal IT. We will have to clearly describe services, to add a price tag to them and to understand, which services under which considerations can be consumed from the cloud.

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