Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Clouds - the fourth column

#saas #cloudcomputing

Following on from my previous post about moving into an on-demand world it is important to look at Clouds from the IT buyer perspective. Alistair Croll posted an interesting article the other day (For CIOs, clouds are the fourth column) discussing an aspect of this.

From his post:
Clouds are transforming IT; that’s not news. But regardless of your cloud computing agenda, clouds are already affecting your IT plans, because they give you a cudgel with which to bludgeon traditional software and infrastructure providers.

Every IT decision of any real consequence starts with a shortlist of three competing offerings. One of the three is usually the incumbent provider [...] . Along with this incumbent are a couple of alternate providers. As a buyer, you line the features and prices of each contender up in nice, clean columns where you can compare them. Sometimes these providers are simply “column fodder” designed to rein in the incumbent; but many IT companies have built healthy businesses by being the alternate.

It’s time to add a fourth column: a cloud-based offering. That means every Request for Proposals (RFP) that a company issues must have a cloud-based option, regardless of whether the company actually plans to adopt clouds.

...Even if you believe you’ll never use a cloud computing platform (you Luddite, you!) you need to treat a cloud offering as a fourth column when evaluating any IT solution. You’ll be better armed, and more likely to discover hidden costs.

Worth thinking about but I would prefer if the fourth column was more than just "column fodder" and actually a serious consideration for the CIO - because Clouds can seriously impact a company in a positive way.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd