The cloud may be powerful and promising, but I think it grates on CIOs.
Why? Because it just seems like so much outsourcing that they've been through before and the cloud hype is suffocating. Ahh, such is the price for a technology that will probably for the basis on most IT departments in the future.
This view is born out by two recent discussion threads. One asked CIOs if they had put a cloud roadmap in place or were moving to it on an adhoc basis. Another asked if the cloud is just outsourcing version 23.0. The answer to that one was a resounding and universal yes and thank you for asking.
-- "Yes and we have had one in place for years. It is only marketeers who have suddenly "discovered" the cloud."
--"Businesses should want out of the business of IT to focus on what is core to their business objectives. Getting out of the business of IT used to mean utilizing outsourcing."
-- "Cloud" is not a new technology, it's a concept we all already tried to implement: No client software installation, transparent application/data location, resiliency, etc,etc,etc. if you cannot do it with your existing applications, don't expect the so called "Cloud" to do it for you."
--"Cloud" is the same as any third party relationship. Sometimes we use 3rd parties for commodities (payroll, electricity), and sometimes for critical, core activities (Apple doesn't manufacture any hardware, for example)."
Casting the cloud as a commodity like electricity might over-simplify it. Here's another comment that says proceed with caution:
"Conceptually the premise of cloud computing is incredibly appealing and it makes for an easy sell. The reality is that some of the abstraction that allows the cloud to be so flexible also leads to inconsistencies in expected performance. A case in point is the social news web site Reddit. They are hosted on the Amazon EC2 cloud, use Amazon EBS storage and have seen huge unexpected growth over the last year. This all should have played out very simply. Just add nodes, add storage and voila instant scalability. The reality was far different and Reddit has been forced to withdraw elements from the cloud because of the inability to predict and receive reliable throughput."
Both are great discussion threads with the gravitas of several CIOs and CTOs. I urge you to read them.