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The Realities of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is not “the end of IT,” nor is it a waste of time

I’m just finishing up a book on cloud computing and SOA, and found the process of writing the book to be a great catalyst for thinking through the issues surrounding cloud computing, as well as assisting my clients with their cloud computing strategies.

As I found, there are a few issues to consider with cloud computing:

  • First, cloud computing is not the savior of IT. It’s nothing but a way to deploy your enterprise architecture in such as way that has the potential to be more productive and cost effective. In essence, it’s a tool, not a way of life. It’s not magic, it’s not even new, but if approached correctly, could be a path toward efficiency.

  • Second, cloud computing and SOA are different concepts, but they are indeed related. SOA is a pattern of architecture, or an approach, where cloud computing is an instance of architecture, or architectural options. They are linked, they are related, and you can’t do one without the other if you’re looking to solve problems at the enterprise level.

  • Finally, the concepts of cloud computing require that many enterprises perform unnatural acts, such as out-placing processes and information. There are things to consider, of course, but there should never be an approach that’s completely against cloud computing, or completely for it.The answer is somewhere in the middle.

My new book is promoting good architectural practices by leveraging what’s best from SOA and cloud computing. Hopefully I’m providing a balanced view, including when cloud computing is a fit, and when it’s not. Cloud computing is not “the end of IT,” nor is it a waste of time. You’ll find it’s value somewhere between the two extremes.

You’ll never hear from me that I believe you need to outplace your core information systems to cloud-based platforms, but you’ll never hear from me that you don’t need to look into it. Like anything, it’s a balancing act that requires you understand your own issues before you can implement any approaches or techniques to build a better IT infrastructure for your enterprise.

I’m exciting about the book. I think the market is in need of guidance at this point, or perhaps some good practical thinking for this exploding space.

More Stories By David Linthicum

David Linthicum is the Chief Cloud Strategy Officer at Deloitte Consulting, and was just named the #1 cloud influencer via a recent major report by Apollo Research. He is a cloud computing thought leader, executive, consultant, author, and speaker. He has been a CTO five times for both public and private companies, and a CEO two times in the last 25 years.

Few individuals are true giants of cloud computing, but David's achievements, reputation, and stellar leadership has earned him a lofty position within the industry. It's not just that he is a top thought leader in the cloud computing universe, but he is often the visionary that the wider media invites to offer its readers, listeners and viewers a peek inside the technology that is reshaping businesses every day.

With more than 13 books on computing, more than 5,000 published articles, more than 500 conference presentations and numerous appearances on radio and TV programs, he has spent the last 20 years leading, showing, and teaching businesses how to use resources more productively and innovate constantly. He has expanded the vision of both startups and established corporations as to what is possible and achievable.

David is a Gigaom research analyst and writes prolifically for InfoWorld as a cloud computing blogger. He also is a contributor to “IEEE Cloud Computing,” Tech Target’s SearchCloud and SearchAWS, as well as is quoted in major business publications including Forbes, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times. David has appeared on NPR several times as a computing industry commentator, and does a weekly podcast on cloud computing.

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