Cloud: Finding True North

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I recently presented a workshop on cloud computing to a fairly large pharmaceutical company.

The discussion rolled and swayed across all ports: IT is still relevant. Cloud computing is a component of the business service management strategy. Virtualization and IT automation are stepping stones. We shared our insights from working with many large enterprises.

Towards the end of the session, you could tell the audience was eager to start searching for their own "true north" when it came to cloud computing. What's the best way to oriented with all the pundits, research and facts?

Joe Tobolski, Global Lead of Infrastructure at Accenture Technology Labs, hit the spot with these closing remarks and guiding principles:

  1. Cloud computing strategy is one component of your IT’s business service management strategy -- they are not separate and distinct.
  2. There is no single approach to cloud computing – the market will remain highly fragmented.
  3. Carefully evaluate candidate applications and IT services that can take advantage of cloud computing. Applications that don’t horizontally scale internally will not give you cost savings if hosted externally on a cloud.
  4. There is an “asymmetrical cost” to go into a cloud and then transition out. Still, carefully plan your exit strategy.
  5. Security and compliance are not portable across clouds and internal IT – but don’t let that slow your approach to cloud computing. Pick a suitable application and get going!

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