To mix my metaphors a Tsunami of Cloud Computing is coming at us!
Cloud Computing will without doubt be a massive change to the underlying computing architecture that we all use today.
Cloud Computing Driven By Business, Not Just the IT Industry
Normally the push comes almost exclusively from IT companies. The IT Companies drive changes in technology despite unwilling users. This time the push for IT change is coming as much from users as it is from the IT Industry.
Small businesses and users alike are keen on Cloud Computing as they wrongly perceive that it makes computing simpler. It doesn’t.
If anything there is a case for saying that locating applications and data on a range of different servers away from the users’ office in different hosting centres is more complex.
IT Support Companies Manage Computer Complexity
Cloud Computing doesn’t reduce the complexity of IT, but it does hide complexity from users – and computer users find that compelling.
I have spoken to businesses who think that because their servers are not in the office it will all work perfectly all of the time. Clearly that is not rational, but business users really do want the server out of their office.
I’ve been very surprised at just how much companies want to be rid of their server.
It misleads them into thinking that there is no complexity because they can’t see the server(s).
Out of sight – out of mind!
Cloud Computing Is at the Early Adopter Stage
We are still at its early adopter stage. As a result it’s not available “out-of-the-box” and it may not be as reliable or user friendly as users expect.
6 Questions That Determine If Cloud Computing Is Right for Your Business Right Now
- Is your internet connection fast enough? If you go 100% Cloud then all your data and applications will be accessed via the internet. Is your connection fast enough for all that traffic?
- Is your internet connection reliable enough? At some locations the internet goes down on occasion. If it does you will have lost all access to your data and applications. A backup internet line is advisable.
- Is additional bandwidth affordable? With all that traffic going through your internet connection you will generally need more internet bandwidth. If you are forced to upgrade to a fibre line is it affordable for the business?
- Are users concentrated in 1 location or distributed across many small locations? Cloud Computing is ideal for large numbers of small offices or remote users. With few users at each location an expensive broadband link is not required. However, if you have a large number of users at a single location then you will need a big expensive broadband connection.
- Will Your Applications Work? Not all applications work in this type of architecture, so you must check with the application vendors first.
- Has your IT Support Company got Cloud Computing expertise? Not all IT companies will. I suspect you won’t want them learning at your expense! Cloud Computing puts additional demands on the communications and remote access technology knowledge of your IT Support Company. If they don’t have the expertise, find one who does.
Cloud Computing – If Not Now When?
If after asking these 6 questions you decide it is not right for your business then don’t abandon it completely. Just delay it.
The Clouds are moving fast! In a year’s time the IT weather may be better for you, so keep testing the temperature with the 6 questions.