Cloud by the Numbers

On April 25 I recorded a podcast with several community members, another free-ranging roundtable discussion of a variety of topics, including—no surprise—cloud computing. 

One of the participants in that discussion was Tom Laszewski, making his third ArchBeat Podcast appearance.  Tom is the co-author of several books, including Migrating to the Cloud, published by Syngress (read an excerpt).

During the conversation Tom offered the observation that for many organizations the decision to adopt cloud computing is often initiated by what he referred to as "the bean counters"— people outside of IT who are interested in the cost-savings available through cloud computing.

So I had to chuckle a bit when I ran across post by ZDNet SOA blogger Joe McKendrick, under the title, Let a financial type run your data center? Survey says it may happen. McKendrick's post refers to a recent Getronics survey of financial executives, and includes this:

[R]espondents revealed that 38% of businesses that have rolled out a cloud computing solution had the project initiated directly by the finance department, rather than IT.

In contrast, McKendrick's post also refers to a recent study he was involved in, sponsored by Oracle and conducted on behalf of the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG). In that study, 57% of respondents said that IT managers or executives made the original recommendation for cloud adoption.

But, bearing out Tom's assessment, McKendrick's post offers this:

Ultimately, however, IT executives will take a step back and let business executives lead as time goes on with cloud engagements, the OAUG survey finds. A majority, 56%, say CEO, CFO, or executive management is ultimately in charge, versus 45% saying IT departments have the final word in cloud decisions.
McKendrick's post also supports Tom's concern that while the financial and  benefits of cloud offer a compelling incentive for adoption, the technical challenges must be addressed by those with the appropriate qualifications:
IT needs to be the business partner that plans and strategizes what types of technology solutions the business needs to move forward — whether those solutions are on-premises or come from somewhere else.

All the more reason for the business and IT camps to make friends and play nice. In the end, they all play for the same team, and that team stands to gain from cloud adoption.

BTW: You can hear Tom's comments as well as those from the other podcast panelists beginning on May 9.

Comments:

I agree with the point that most of cloud migrations are initiated by finance department instead of IT. A lot of cost pressure during tough economy has forced businesses to think out of box . In our company we have got a handful of options and finance was always insisting on the ones with cloud and not really focusing on type of service and details inside.

Posted by Java Developer on May 08, 2012 at 04:18 PM EDT #

Thanks for your comment! In the end, business is about money, and anything that can save money will be perceived as good. But is that such a bad thing? Certainly IT will never run out of headaches, but isn't there a danger in playing it safe and comfortable? Innovation is disruption, no?

Posted by Bob Rhubart on May 08, 2012 at 04:23 PM EDT #

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