Cloud Seeding is the methodology of dispersing chemicals in order to alter weather patterns. Effectiveness of this practice remains controversial even these days, with one of the latest controversies being the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where rockets were used to seed clouds in order to prevent rain during the opening and closing ceremonies. Nobody seems to know if this worked or not.
So, what does this have to do with cloud-computing? Sometimes you have all the ingredients you need to change your computing paradigm but you’re reluctant to do so because:
- It’s perceivably too hard
- You don’t have the aptitude or talent
- It goes against status-quo
- You’re afraid to invest time and money
I’ve noticed a backlash against cloud-computing recently. Surveys in the press seem to indicate that CIO’s are not planning to do much in 2014 with their cloud-computing strategy, that is if they have a strategy at all. They cite security issues or lack of ROI as the reason. I understand, these issues are real and need to be confronted. Security is a red-herring – securing cloud applications is (mostly) the same as securing your in-house applications. ROI is another issue. Although computing costs are getting cheaper, software vendors are playing games with licensing, not willing to give up perpetual-license revenues. So they play games with setting “minimum licenses”, either steering you to perpetual licenses or locking you in to a long-term contract. In either case, it’s short-sighted on their part and will backfire. I’ll be happy to see them fail and go out of business.
“DISRUPT OR BE DISRUPTED”
This is what should be keeping you up at night. If you don’t have Focus, Urgency and Discipline (FUD), you’re done for. At some point your competition will wake up and invest in these platform, gain the competitive advantage, and by the time you start to think about moving to cloud-computing it will be too late. At least too late for you, because you didn’t act.
WHAT TO DO
Take inventory of all your old systems. The only thing left inside your data-center should be security-critical applications that you aren’t ready to move. Retire old systems and move to cloud-solution vendors that truly offer a SaaS solution and subscription license model. Be strategic, work on ROI that’s in front of you and that’s achievable in an agile project. If you have a differentiated application that provides competitive advantage, consider opening up the application to cloud-based web-services.
Most of all, avoid the negativity from analysts and the press who say that there is no urgency to move to these platforms. I’m happy to talk to anyone balking at the opportunity of building cloud-based apps and how to move forward.