Cloud computing is hot air, unless…

As you may know, I spend a lot of time working with some very knowledgeable people who spend their lives immersed in the computing lives of companies small, medium and large. …

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20th October 2008 at 5:47 pm

As you may know, I spend a lot of time working with some very knowledgeable people who spend their lives immersed in the computing lives of companies small, medium and large. They are also privileged to glimpse behind the kimono of the major IT and communications companies. Not everything we hear can be repeated, but the accumulated intelligence is exposed whenever possible.

Our beloved leader, one Dale Vile, recently went public with his thoughts on how you might lay your hands on cloud computing services and facilities, should you feel the urge.

He’s been listening to the rest of us banging on about cloud stuff for a while and has quietly done further research and formed his own opinions.

His perspective, as always, is very grounded and gives you the meat of his insights along with the potatoes of the practicalities. You can read the overview and pick up your free copy of his research note here.

He opens with a frank appraisal of the hype around cloud computing and explains how our research paints a completely different picture.

We aren’t on the verge of a revolution (you’ll be pleased to hear), more of an evolution. But he strongly believes that the smaller business is likely to get the most out of the new opportunities the soonest.

Having said that, a gulf exists between the people currently trying to pitch such services (like telcos and ISPs) and the potential buyers who understand neither the offerings nor their own requirements.

They need their local supplier – Dale calls him “Dave the dealer” – to explain and advocate appropriate services. It’s a short step for ‘Dave’ to do this, providing he is suitably rewarded by the service providers.

And, astonishingly perhaps (especially falling from my lips), Microsoft may be best poised to offer the answers with its Software plus Services (S+S) approach.

We don’t need an all or nothing disruption to get more value out of our computer systems. Why not extend our existing desktop solutions into cloud based additional services?

It makes a lot of sense to me.

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David Tebbutt is an award-winning columnist and feature writer who specialises on the subject of using software and technology to increase business productivity. He's an analyst with Freeform Dynamics but, in previous lives, wrote for Director magazine, Real Business and was also editor of Personal Computer World. http://freeformdynamics.com

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  1. Ed Stivala says:

    Will certainly go and read his research, sounds really interesting.

    For those of us that have been in computing for far too many years, it is hard to see why ‘cloud computing’ is actually that special and it is certainly not a new idea.

    There is an ongoing pendulum effect in computing that swings between distributed and centralized computing architectures over time. When you cut away the hype and boil it down to its absolute basics; cloud computing is simply a centralized architecture with a novel charging mechanism applied to it.

    So, without the benefit of reading Dale’s paper, I would suggest that the real innovation is simply in the commercial model rather than anything else.

    Just my 2p!

    Ed Stivala

  2. N3W MEDIA says:

    […] Interesting article over at small bizpod if you are interesting in cloud computing and slightly more grounded view of it […]

  3. Benjamin says:

    Lots I’d agree with there. Small businesses need someone to be their technology intermediary – not just some out to sell ‘stuff’, but able to translate from the latest IT fads into what works for the business.

    Not that I’m calling Cloud Computing a fad! Far from it… The idea of not buying servers, and being able to scale infrastructure ‘on demand’ is at it’s most compelling for small and growing businesses. You start to get on a level playing field with the big guys, at least from a cost perspective.

  4. Ron Perrella says:

    Cloud computing is another name for timesharing or “utility computing” — a concept that goes back to MULTICS (yes – that’s BEFORE Unix). The decision to use the cloud or not is one of identifying the risks involved then assessing your risk tolerance. For many applications, the cloud is not just a good idea, it is the best idea.

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