Why Going into the Cloud Shouldn't even be a Question

I’ve read numerous articles about cloud computing over recent months, some promoting the advantages and other questioning the benefits. A story in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye last week, which was headlined: “To Cloud, or Not to Cloud”.


4 May 2011

I’ve read numerous articles about cloud computing over recent months, some promoting the advantages and other questioning the benefits. A story in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye last week, which was headlined: “To Cloud, or Not to Cloud”.

The author of the piece provided some interesting takes around different areas that companies should consider as they make a decision on whether to move into the cloud. The story was balanced, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the cloud.

Although many of the points in both the positive and negative columns were valid, I have a couple of key takeaways that further confirm to me that cloud is the way to go:

1)    It’s imperative to find the right vendor, ensuring that you won’t have to face most of the challenges that the writer referenced when moving to a cloud service-based model. For example, it’s relatively straightforward to minimize the possibility of an outage and ensure reliability. Best-in-class providers typically have a highly available, redundant infrastructure to provide uninterruptible services to their customers. Also, you should ensure that the cloud practitioner of your choice has best in class security around the following:

2)    The writer made some interesting points on savings for cloud vs. in-house software. I believe, though, that results have shown time and time again the key benefits of choosing cloud over adding more in-premise software. With cloud, you typically have the following benefits:

  • Takes days to weeks to implement the solution, ensuring less disruption to the business
  • Relatively fast time to value for the solution
  • Less upfront investment and predictable cost management
  • Easily scale the implementation to match actual business usage, giving increased flexibility
  • Upgrades are pushed through continual innovation and don’t require customer intervention, enabling more frequent updates

I understand that the prospect of cloud can be a daunting thought for many people. Who really likes change? The fact of the matter is that you can’t ignore cloud – it’s here to stay. Just look at the Gartner report that recently came out. For me, it isn’t even a question of whether you should implement cloud. It’s more looking at the appropriate strategic opportunities to incorporate the cloud model into your business and ensuring that you’re working with the right vendor to usher you into a new era.