Unless you’ve been living in a cave even less well equipped for the modern age than Fred Flintstone’s, you will have noticed the buzz about something called cloud computing. It comes with a menagerie of buzzwords: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure on demand, hosted apps … We could go on. …
Nicely done concept laywering.
What this entirely misses, as isn't unusual from this infomercialeering bunch, is what the consequences for the business are. Then again, perhaps they can be forgiven for businesses are pretty good at overlooking the direct parameters of importance (DPoI*), or perhaps that's because they've been listening to this bunch too long. Who is to say?
Anyhow. What happens if that Service Critical To Your Business suddenly up and vanishes in a puff of Cloud[tm] (Service as a Pipedream)? Can you afford that? Is the risk times the cost worth the savings (if any)? No? Stick to improving the services IT provides to your workers in-house then. That might be as simple as occasionally walking around the rest of the company and simply look what they're doing and how they're doing it. Not much opportunity to have spendy lunches expensed by sleazy salescritters. But then, who really wants to lunch with them anyway?
* Look ma, buzzword coining in action.
You've got to be prepared for these risks. I don't see the difference in it happening in the cloud or it happening in your datacentre. Risks are risks, do the maths, get on with your life.
We've run our entire business from the cloud - some our own, some saas services, for 9yrs without any major hitch. Sure, you might get the odd half hour of downtime once or twice or year, but that's pretty good in my view.
You really don't see the difference...
... between shouting at your overworked IT bod and between shouting at some nameless Indian-with-fake-Texan-accent guy who can easily hang up on you when he gets fed up with it? Or as noted below, getting rerouted to a surly cop who wants to know who you are so you can get added to the indictment?
I've recently been called to help mop up after a data breach, and sometimes people, especially people for whom working with people is their speciality, having someone in-person who can explain just what is going on and keep them from goofing too much further, is a lifesaver.
Then there's the old "where's your data really?" question, the question of whether you have sorted your contracts and SLAs and licences and whatnots, whether you have a clear picture just what jurisdictions you're exposed to, that sort of thing. If none of that is important to your business, then fine. If it is, though, once you start to really think about what the consequences are, or maybe you just have to have it explode in your face before you'll catch on (ever done a live-fire DR excercise?), you'll notice there's a bit of a difference, yes.
This is not to say that "cloud" is never appropriate. Rather I'm saying the question of going cloud or not isn't half as important as making sure the services IT provides are as useful as they can be to the people they're intended for. You know, the getting things done part of the business. Especially in IT we can end up a little distracted there.
This is nothing to do with how to do things better (or even different) - it's about how to sell the same old crap with new added shiny. Two resellers quoted at vast length? Where's the IT angle? Or did I miss the bit where it said "advertising feature".
I have been listening to/reading about redefinings of saas, paas and cloud for a decade or more and I still read the same thing between the lines - about the same absolute amount of useful as ever within an ever growing sea of poorly designed, pointless, tits-up tomorrow crap.
Run your business according to your business needs and not because it looks like the one you have at home.
Freame's friend's child? Really?
That video of a kid appearing to try and make magazine pages "swipe" like a tablet UI has been doing the rounds for a while. Try searching for "a magazine is a broken iPad" or something similar. I doubt the child in the video is a child of a friend of his, I think he just appropriated that little anecdote from off of the interwebs...
It's not even a good anecdote though, because in the shots of the kid "using" the iPad, he's just randomly swiping stuff about. I know that to a lot of iPad owners this random swiping constitutes "using", but to me "using" means performing a set of actions with a device to achieve a goal...
Re: Freame's friend's child? Really?
Kids freakin love ipads*. My 5 month old nephew literally cant get enough of it, if you can hold it upright for him, and keep him out of the itunes store, he just loves mashing at it with his hands and seeing things happen.
He's particularly adept at the 4/5 finger swipe, which my chubby man hands still only get right every other attempt.
Obviously he isn't 'using' it - but he engages a lot more with that then his other (static) toys!
* Anecdotally. Sample size 1. Tablets tested - ipad, ipad 2.
What if your 'cloudy' SaaS/Paas/IaaS was actually just a nicely resold slice of someone like MegaUpload.com?
All those SLAs dont mean much when the FBI have walked in and switched it all off. How were you to know that the fantastic priced deal you got was because you were just buying some space on a dodgy bit of infrastructure that was hosting 'thinkofthechildren' content.