Glenn Weinstein, CTO, Appirio
Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2010 in Orlando this week drew over 6,000 IT professionals, including 1,700 CIOs. The words most often heard in the keynote, sessions, and hallway chatter? “Cloud computing!”
We work every day with customers who have made commitments to the public cloud, so it’s easy to forget how revolutionary the concept can still be to the broader IT community. Thousands of companies are still stuck with largely on-premise architectures, and on-premise ideas. Here are eight insights from day one of the conference that challenge that thinking:
We don’t have to revolutionize every layer of IT at once. General ledger systems that are running on-premise don’t need to be our first target for moving to the cloud. For established enterprises, systems of innovation represent the best first opportunity to use cloud computing to deliver net-new business functionality. We may not change everything overnight, but when it comes to delivering altogether new systems that bring new ideas to life, we can avoid doing it the “same old way” for the same old costs and with the same old dependencies.
Thomas says we are currently in Stage 2, and new products from VMware and Microsoft are moving us to Stage 3. But in the end, when security concerns are all addressed and businesses want the full benefit of operational expenses (over capital expenses) along with pay-per-use pricing, there’s no reason to believe any company will have a reason to cling to their private cloud past its next refresh cycle.
Naturally, you want your proposal to fall in the latter category. This requires that the CIO think in terms of top-line revenue growth, not merely operational efficiency. Indeed, Dr. Cash’s position is that projects that target operational efficiency must be self-funding. Only projects that aim to add new sources of revenue merit separate funding. Takeaway: cloud computing is best suited for systems of innovation (see #2 above), which are most likely to have the potential for adding top-line growth.
Can you imagine a world where concepts like firewalls, DMZs, and VPNs fade into the background? I can – when standards such as two-factor authentication, OpenID, and Oauth become ubiqitous, making users and IT feel just as comfortable with public cloud-based systems as they do with “internal” systems that are protected by a traditional corporate network.
Day 1 down, many more insights to come. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update!