IT Cloud Resistance Starts To Annoy Businesses

A recent survey done by Accenture and the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Outsourcing Unit shows that IT people see issues like security and privacy as a barrier to cloud adoption.

« One of the very interesting findings was there was a clear gap between business people and IT people, » said Andrew Greenway, global cloud program leader for Accenture. « Business people said they didn’t see security and privacy as an issue around the cloud. IT people conversely saw data privacy, lock-in and security as much more of a problem.

Greenway said that it was the extent of the gap that was shocking, and that the gap needed to be narrowed. Otherwise, business people, armed with a credit card, can and will bypass IT to order the services they want. « That’s going to shock the IT into delivering services with much more speed and agility, » he said.

Well, let me tell you about my own cloud experience. June last year I was in the privileged position to start a whole new company from scratch. Did a whole bunch of research and decided to go 100% cloud. Our servers live in the Amazon cloud and Google hosts our email. Then there are a bunch of ‘cloud building blocks’ like Salesforce for CRM, Genius for marketing automation, the ‘cloud flavor’ of Quickbooks that flawlessly integrates with Salesforce, and a series of cloud-based services that I can simply sign up for and plug in. And within each category there are several tools to choose from. Man, this was so much easier than 15 years ago, I have spent many millions of dollars at Dell, building out whole data centers with dozens of servers. No more.

What I have now is a powerful double-screen Dell workstation for everyone, a fast LAN and two Internet connections feeding into a router that fails over when one dies. It has been a smooth, fast, process at a fraction of the cost compared to last time. It scales infinitely, and can shrink just as easily. No wonder that the businessman in me loves this. But the system admin in me sees life somewhat threatened. Time to get ready for the future. I suggest you grab ‘Programming Amazon EC2’ from o’Reilly. I have a copy here and it’s worth it:

However, There is a downside to all this. Cloud computing is all very well until someone trips over a wire and the whole thing goes dark. You are now 100% depending on someone else’s technology stack, and when they go down, they take you with them. As I am writing this on Thursday April 21, at 2pm, I got this email: « Just a heads up, but a big chunk of Amazon Web Services is down this morning, in both East and West coast, and it is taking Reddit, Foursquare and Quora with it. Amazon has raised their alert levels to Red, and they are trying to recover as quick as possible. » OUCH. My site was spared but that could have been me. Here is the TechCrunch article:

And here is a link to the original article at the UK PCAdvisor site that talks about the survey that was done: