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Cloud in the Mind!

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Long distance relationships are hard – or are they just mind over matter?

Today’s economy wants to tighten its belt, and within this philosophy lies a fertile ground for cloud computing. Let’s not argue – the cloud has arrived and is here to stay. However, the economies of scale that a cloud provides are both a friend and a foe for the enterprise. As much economic benefit cloud provides, it also extends a proportional sense of ‘loss of control’. If not in reality – this is more of a psychological problem. Ask a CIO who’s yet to get on a cloud – long distance relationships with data are intimidating.

But here’s the cool part – the distance from data is dependent on how quickly you can access it and how secure you can make it. If neither of the 2 parameters change, you would never know if the data was moved from your premise to mine.

So – why is cloud a big deal? Straight up – cost savings and economies of scale. IT plays a huge role in an enterprise. And IT management is proportionately budgeted for. With cloud, IT services can be offered at a fraction of the cost relieving massive challenges on resources and infrastructure. With unified access, data can be made more reliable, available, and secure. Which is eventually the whole point of IT and its management anyways isn’t it?

And that’s what gives the cloud its silver lining. For the ones who still don’t buy it and want numbers, check this out – Gartner predicts that by end of 2013, cloud services market will be worth over $150 billion annually.

But I’m sure you’re still wondering – what if… and why not…? Well you can argue all you like and try to convince yourself that the cloud will go away. But with the kind of benefits that the cloud provides today, it’s impossible for the enterprise to ignore its financial implications.

In fact a study on cloud risks carried out by European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) recently, names compliance and malicious intent as two of the highest risks through cloud. These risks are anyways high up on a CIO’s risk list, even with an on-premise infrastructure.

But the study has also raised high concerns on legal risks for data. The need for standardized jurisdiction coupled with an obsession on information management quality is a must.

Sure over time the cloud will mature and service providers will take on more aggressive positions within your IT environment. A lot of bumps will smoothen out and early adopters would explicitly benefit on their balance sheets. It would be like the ERP story all over again.

However, the question that you need to answer is – do you really want to manage IT? Do you really need to manage IT? Do you want to commit yourselves to the periodicity of systems, software, and resources?

The cloud is here to stay – move in early. There’s no phrase called ‘second mover advantage’ and there’s a good reason for it. Don’t say I didn’t tell you …

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