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Does Cloud Computing Have A Silver Lining For You? (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Oct 4th 2010

By guest author Shaloo Shalini

As an engrossed spectator witnessing the charge of the cloud computing brigade, deafened by the din and fascinated by the exhilaration and anticipation around cloud computing across the globe, I am reminded of the saying sometimes attributed to Voltaire: Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ. (No offense meant to anyone.)

Once a promising new technology or a business model makes its debut and catches your fancy, it is but natural to find yourself among captivated peers goading you to take note and gain your own perspective. We live in interesting times where the stakes get higher every day as the rate of technology proliferation continues unabated on a global scale, reminding us that in some ways the world is flat. In the case of the cloud, it is no different. The cloud is not just an amalgamation of technologies and methodologies that have been simmering as utility computing until the large-scale adoption of virtualization, it heralds, as Nicholas Carr argues, the “big switch” to a new business model altogether. While some of us struggle to do our cloud homework, others are jumping on the bandwagon, bewitched by the success of early adopters. There are smart risk takers who spot a gaping hole or identify blue skies in the existing scheme of things, cashing in on the opportunity just in time and inspiring another horde to follow them into the domain of cloud computing.

Even as I write this, this cloud computing club is burgeoning and includes both those who follow the thought leaders and those who latch on to the buzz in an attempt to make a quick buck. In this frenzy of cloud market predictions from analysts such as Gartner and IDC, one can almost sense the approaching tipping point. Which way will that point tip? Whether it will be for better or worse, we do not know.

Many of us are still unsure of what is in it for our enterprise and whether there is still time to complete our cloud homework before deciding to jump in or wait on the sidelines and potentially miss the boat. Well, if you are in this category, do not worry. Just like every other cloud, cloud computing has a silver lining – not one but many. You simply need to focus your gaze and spot the silver lining in the context of your enterprise. And yes, it does require some diligence on your part since the window of cloud opportunity is as shifting as are the shimmering rays of the sun that create the silver lining and as elastic as the cloud itself.

For a moment, let us not worry about where cloud computing is headed and look beyond the hype. Either cloud computing has the potential to become a successful business model that is widely deployed and commoditized or give way to the next wave. How can you as an individual or an enterprise benefit from it or be the catalyst in churning the next big wave to help your enterprise? That is something worthy of your focus.

Once you analyze and rule out any basic requirements which prohibit you from moving your workloads and business processes to the cloud – be they technology or business aspects – within your application or business or core enterprise process context, you need to look into some key cloud adoption aspects with a powerful lens and a clear head. These aspects are:

1.    Investigate your cloud adoption objectives and opportunities.

2.   Formulate your integration strategy.

3.   Discover your blue-sky opportunities in the cloud.

We’ll look at each in turn in the next two parts of the post.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Does Cloud Computing Have A Silver Lining For You?
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