Listen, I don’t want to start another discussion about the cloud. What is a cloud anyway? However I’ve recently been in two different conversations where someone indicated that they thought everything in corporate IT was the cloud.
It occurs to me that from the point of view of of an organizations staff, where they access all IT services via a browser or a smart device of some kind, that it sure looks like everything is the cloud. Everything is just out there and they aren’t having to install fat clients on their desktops to get things done anymore. It is no unreasonable to start thinking of all the things that IT does as ‘the cloud’ when you have that perspective.
Here are some thoughts on this:
- Any conversation that an IT professional has with someone related to the cloud better start with definitions and a common understanding, or starting point. I’ve been in several cloud conversations lately where I’ve realized later that we were talking about different things. I’ve got to get better about starting with a common foundation on these conversations.
- I think the cloud is IT related services provisioned via the internet with a pay as you go model. No capital expenses up front and can scale up or scale down based on changing needs by the buyer.
- Corporate IT has many legacy applications running on dedicated hardware in private data centers or hosting sites. It looks like the cloud, but it is not the cloud. There are capital costs, upgrades strains and little reuse. Little scaling too.
- The cloud is not hosting. It is not contracting with some company where they will just run an application on hardware in their data center and your employees will get access to it over the internet. That is not the cloud. That is just putting the hardware in their data center. Doesn’t matter if it is a pay as you go model or not. This is not the cloud.
- I think real cloud applications are multitenant. To really get economies of scale the hardware needs to be shared by many users at the same time. Google apps are an example where all the people running Gmail or google apps are running on shared hardware in Google data centers. This last point everyone won’t agree on, but I think real, scale-able cloud based applications have to be multitenant.
Well, am I getting this wrong? Do you agree with these viewpoints? Or is corporate IT the cloud too?