Migration Isn’t the Only Obstacle to Cloud Computing

Nor is waiting going to solve the problem. Well, it might if the next technology wave sweeps the whole issue away, or perhaps the problem will be carried off by a herd of flying pigs. Until then, the Cloud has some serious maturing to do. As Gartner says:

” … technologically aggressive application development organizations should look to Cloud computing for tactical projects through 2011, during which time the market will begin to mature and be dominated by a select group of vendors. Following this period, Gartner predicts that the market will see a surge of new vendors and subsequent consolidation as Cloud computing becomes appealing to more mainstream application development organizations.”

Note “application development”, i.e., new apps. No matter how much the Cloud matures, a change is still a change. Major change to applications is expensive. The more sweeping the change the greater the measurable financial benefits required to justify it. The Cloud proponents seem to lose sight (or at least perspective) on this.

Lack of Focus

We should be concentrating on the non-technical aspects of IT, where there remains enormous potential for greater efficiencies. Another recent Datamation articlehighlights open source as an alternative. There are also other areas that require improvement such as improved morale, better business skills, more efficient processes, reduced change failures, better project selection and management, server consolidation, renegotiation of contracts for spare capacity on-site, and outsourcing of selected specialist functions in-house (such as network administration, monitoring, and provisioning).

Yet we don’t learn. Cloud computing is another vendor-driven, techno-geek fantasy that adds complication, risk and expense. One day it may prove to be a useful tool in certain contexts, but it isn’t the miracle fix it is touted to be. In fact, it looks to be unobtainable for most existing systems because the migration is too large an effort for an internal IT return with no visible change in the delivered service.

Rob England is “The IT Skeptic”, an IT industry commentator best known for his blog, The IT Skeptic. He lives in a little house in a little village in a little country far, far away.