What the naysayers don't get about Cloud Computing4/1/2011
Sadly, while Cloud Computing platforms are getting easier to use every day, IT at my company spends a significant amount of its time designing even more cumbersome forms. Due to mandated change controls, IT is slowly wresting greater control over core systems, but it may not notice its share of responsibility is being eclipsed, quickly.
Unfortunately, while IT is building silos and restricting access, business units are finding they no longer have to wait for the geriatric IT to catch up to them. That is the real draw of Cloud Computing -- no waiting. Instant on. Less ceremony.
Starting a new instance on Amazon's cloud takes just a few clicks, and there is almost immediate access granted to the box, and extra storage and load balancers are also easy to configure. Same with Salesforce.com or any other platform one could name.
Such a feat may take me a month for a single virtual image, let alone installing the application. I have to coordinate each build with the Unix, firewall, security and networking teams. Even if I request an image, I don't automatically get access to it. That'd be far too turnkey.
No, there's a form for that. And it only works properly with IE6.
Many IT pros that I've talked to don't quite understand the Cloud Computing thing. It's applied too liberally to a number of different ideas, and to many it feels like SaaS hype simply turned into Cloud hype at some point. They dismiss what is a sweeping change in how IT is supplied.
People just want to get their work done, and Cloud Computing offers what might be a simpler path for many. Of course, there will always be a need for people who know what to do with root or who know what --rpath means.
But big company IT must not be so risk-adverse that it becomes the risk. Each change that is fretted over slows down each change that's waiting. The backlog of changes continues to grow until shortcuts are taken, which is when acquiring software through IT becomes riskier than outside vendors.
That's how a company winds up still using fscking IE6.