What is “The Cloud?” How does my business benefit from “The Cloud?” Do “Clouds” evaporate? Do they create rain? Do they change colors? Do they change size and shapes?
While it is easy to poke fun at the term “Cloud Computing”, the value of offloading tasks while adding functionality requires business and information technologies leaders to explore Cloud Computing as a path to deliver IT services to end-users. Clearly, “The Cloud” is surrounded by a great deal of promotion, discussion and possibly hype. Even if you consider it hype versus reality the Cloud Computing movement is changing the way businesses and users are consuming IT services. (As a side note: If you are interested in learning more about Cloud Computing, we recommend you read what Financial Times called “the best read so far about the significance of the shift to cloud computing,” The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr.)
Cloud Computing is forcing the cost structure of information technology to change. Too much money is budgeted for maintenance and hardware upgrades instead of productivity and profit enhancing information technology projects. This is why companies across all verticals are moving information technology services and functions to “The Cloud”. The bottom line is businesses want to reduce maintenance costs and want to stop spending the majority of their budget on hardware and software. Cloud computing offers a viable mechanism to achieve this goal.