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Posted by James Staten on November 22, 2011
We know that enterprise infrastructure & operations (I&O) professionals are under tremendous executive pressure to get to yes on cloud computing and that this can be an uncomfortable proposition. Understanding the security, maturity and return on investment from cloud services can be challenging, and in many cases you might argue that you provide the same capabilities from your own data center. But there's no denying that enterprises are increasing their consumption of these services and that their value proposition is unique and compelling - if not to I&O directly.
Since cloud became a household word, vendors and enterprises alike have jumped to declare victory on cloud with services and infrastructure implementations that really don't deliver cloud value but have the same foundation - something we call "cloudwashing." This is a dangerous gambit as you claim legitimacy but don't activate the same economics, deliver the autonomy that cloud services offer to your internal users and aren't standardized or automated enough to deliver transformative agility. In other words you claim cloud but are achieving only incrementally better value.
Well we've said many times before that cloud computing services are not a threat to I&O but another tool in your arsenal for delivering technology advantage to your company. But like any tool, it's worthless without proper training and experience. And too many enterprise I&O professionals are quick to dismiss true cloud services. It's time to change that attitude because, as our latest TechRadar shows, the clouds are maturing at a rapid rate.
In the last two years since our first Tech Radar of Cloud Computing, we have seen significant improvement in the stability, transparency and feature sets of the leading cloud services solutions. And this has driven most of the cloud services segments out of the initial creation stage. Forrester TechRadars plot technology categories along three variables:
In 2009, a majority of cloud computing services sat in the Creation phase, making them risky bets for I&O investments. Today, only two cloud services categories remain there. All the rest have proven their staying power. Not all have wide applicability, but nearly all, when used correctly, can deliver outsized gains and financial advantage.
The key is in knowing how to use them correctly. And you can't learn this by dismissing them as immature and instead cloudwashing business as usual and hoping you can evolve the status quo to deliver commensurate value. You don't have the time and your company won't wait.
Our analysis proves that it is time to start embracing these technologies, and your first steps should be to:
Where should you start? Use our TechRadar to learn what cloud services are truly ready for your company's consumption and engage the vendors who truly meet the cloud computing definition and deliver transformative economics. Do it today.
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