Many organizations look at cloud computing as a way of lowering costs, but the fallout can actually be much broader:
- Cloud security and mobile devices – At the same time organizations are looking at cloud computing and its impact, the consumerization of IT is forcing them to look at how information is delivered to the end users as well. The security implications of cloud computing and the delivery of critical business information to mobile devices come together to shift how applications are developed. BYOD is more about data access than it is about the devices themselves.
- Application design shifts – The strengths of cloud (parallel processing in large volumes, remote automated/efficient compute pools, shared resources…) are somewhat incompatible with the way many applications have been written in the past. New techniques and training will be required. The existing application portfolio will need to be reviewed in-depth from a variety of perspectives (value/watt consumed…) to understand where effort needs to be concentrated.
- Flexible contracting concessions – At least at the lowest level of cloud (IaaS), most of the cloud services will be sold on a “take it or leave it” configuration. Although the service provider will be unwilling to reconfigure their offering to meet the needs of any individual client, they may be willing to trade favorable pricing or other concessions for longer-term or higher volume customer commitments. These variables actually mean something to the service provider’s business plans.
- Flexible Subcontracting – Although the standards are not quite there yet, the flexibility of a more incremental approach to consumption can allow for organizations to contract directly with the underlying cloud technology providers, or the relationship can be part of a larger outsourcing/service partner. This is part of IT’s shift in focus from operations to management of relationships and services to ensure effective.
- Consumption knowledge based behavior changes – Now that organizations know more about how resources are consumed, there can be a tendency to tighten the very screws that are providing the visibility and transparency. A shift from just consumption to a real value vs. costs tradeoff needs to be well understood by everyone involved. Know your costs before shifting work into the cloud and be wary of chargebacks or approaches that may stifle adoption if true value is being generated. Be aware of what portion of spend is being consumed addressing old problems and what has been diverted to innovation generating new value.
In 2009, I wrote a blog post about measuring cloud adoption. These techniques can shift your thinking about cloud and cloud deployment as well.
Those are a few thoughts off the top of my head related to cloud fallout. What others can you think of?
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