Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Mar 2 2010   9:47AM GMT

There is no Knight in Shining Armor in Cloud Computing

Guest Author Profile: Guest Author

Editor’s Note: This guest post is from Ed Laczynski, founder and CTO of LTech. -MM

I talk to a dozen or so IT managers, CIO’s, and decision makers every week.  My sales and business development staff speaks to another hundred or so.  Looking back at the past year of business in cloud computing, we’ve come up with an anecdotal trend.  IT management falls into two camps: pioneers and damsels in distress.

“Pioneers” are ready, willing, and able to take the plunge into cloud computing. They know that their job function might change, their users may go through some unrest, and their management will be tentative.  However, they also know that the world is changing.  The disruptive cost savings, productivity, and functionality that cloud computing provides is not worth fighting against; instead embracing it with the right mind towards managing, integrating, and operating the technology is the correct course of action.  The pioneers we worked with in the early parts of 2009 are already seeing the benefits.  Pride in ownership of successful deployments, savings of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, and control of their own destiny in this new era of technology give the pioneers the confidence to continue the adoption cycle of cloud.

However, “Damsels in distress” aren’t so happy about all this cloud hullaballoo.  They say cloud is really all about private datacenters.  Or, it’s all about some new product coming out soon from your typically enterprise software company, that promises to be a knight in shining armor – allowing them to keep the status quo and innovate at the same time.  These IT folks are content with managing hundreds of servers, in costly real-estate, with even costlier software licensing.   When opportunities to move to cloud computing come knocking, they yell “Get off my lawn!” and hug their servers and enterprise software licenses that surely keep them warm at night.

But business is changing.  It is about interconnectedness, collaboration, and scalability.  The very things the Internet was born from.   The companies that were built on the Internet – like Google, Amazon, and Salesforce, have built the framework for IT and it’s ready.

We are moving from an era when your typical desk worker received 30 emails per day, to one where hundreds would be considered a quiet day.   The tools of yesteryear – Notes, Exchange, Outlook, aren’t going to solve the problems of information overload that companies are being saddled with.  Massively multi-tenant systems like Amazon Web Services and Google Apps have stellar uptimes and reliability when compared with on-premise or pretend cloud solutions like Microsoft BPOS, which has had enough outages to scare away only the most dyed-in-the-wool Microsoft fan.   None of this is lost on sales and marketing departments, who want to innovate and keep a leg up and not be told they have to wait weeks for procurement of licenses and servers to stand up technology to win market share.

The knight in shining armor won’t show up because he doesn’t exist.  The last thing companies like Microsoft can do is cannibalize their on-premise server and productivity business with cheap, effective, cloud alternatives.  Even if they were willing to do it, can they really deploy the data center and scaling capabilities that their Internet-born competitors already have a decade jump start on?

The Pioneer is going to look at an IT problem, like standing up a development environment, or deploying world-class CRM, and laugh at its simplicity and cost.  The damsel in distress will wait for Topaz Cloud Connection and Scalability Server 2011 Plus, Enterprise Edition (for Servers) while the competition spends more money on sales and innovation than keeping those servers warm.  If you think the companies of yesterday are going to chew their own arms off to deliver you highly scalable, internet powered, cheap cloud computing, you’ll be waiting a very long time.  So think hard about what technologies and IT providers you want to cast your lot with in 2010.

The company (www.ltech.com) provides products and services that connect business to the cloud. LTech has successfully completed hundreds of cloud deployments and our cloud enablement products are being used by hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

LTech is a Google Enterprise Partner and Amazon Web Services Solution Provider.

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