Preparing For The Cloud

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November 26, 2010 by James Smith

Yesterday I attended The Cloud Circle event in London where suppliers and users of cloud based solutions met and discussed both technical and business aspects of cloud computing and the impact on IT as we know it today.

Here is a link to their site:
http://www.thecloudcircle.com/

I found a common theme for most organisations was not so much if the cloud could help them deliver better technology solutions but more about how they should prepare for when they did. This was also discussed in some of the presentations throughout the day and for me, made sense.  Like all good boy scouts be prepared, understand your business and how technology can enable it before you start concerning yourself too much with solutions.

Understanding how much time and effort you put into this preparation or analysis will vary on the organisation, identify low risk areas (R&D environments were discussed a few times) and use these to better understand the technology and its adoption while you focus more on high risk areas, a sensible approach.

Some key messages:

  • Baseline your risks (Justin Pirie presentation http://www.justinpirie.com/)
  • Understand your organisations service level requirements
  • Define the technology functions the organisation needs
  • Look at where ICT really delivers value to the organisation and make that your focus
  • Don’t specialise  in the areas where IT is, or is becoming a commodity

Some interesting thoughts and questions that we can take back into our organisations.  There was also one presentation (http://blog.mattballantine.com/) that talked about how the right technology (in his case Google Docs) not only provided users with the functions they needed but acted as a catalyst for innovation – staff started changing how they worked because the technology enabled them to do so. IT became an enabler not a blocker, something I think all organisations strive to increase, the cloud in this case helped achieve it. We have to ask ourselves can it also help us?

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