Everywhere I look I see that people are supposedly turning to the cloud, to bundled hardware and software services with a fixed fee price as a way to cut costs. Please, color me skeptical.
I know there are a lot of advantages, for some shops, to cloud computing, but what I wonder about is the gut rationale for the rush to cloud computing that we see today. Everything that we do as human beings, of course, comes from some sort of gut reaction. Cost, for example, is certainly a gut reaction, but I can’t buy the adage that cloud computing is going to save us boatloads of cash. That just doesn’t seem reasonable. After all,Shirey’s First Law tells us that costs never really decrease, they just change category and become harder to categorize. So what is really driving the drive to cloud computing?
One of the key factors that drives people today is fear and the desire to avoid anything that might go wrong for which we could be blamed. That and avoiding any upfront cost. I really believe that most IT and business decisions can be explained using those to gut reactions. Simple fact is that I don’t want to be blamed for anything, however oblique. Doesn’t really matter what the monthly charge is as long as there is no upfront cost. And cloud computing satisfies both of those primal needs; if something does go wrong it’s really not your fault, it’s the provider, and they pay people to spin it OK so no problem. And there is no upfront cost, just a monthly charge and you can always make the numbers come out right.
Now, I’m not saying that cloud computing is bad. It is definitely worth looking at and is the solution of choice for many shops that are, shall we say, ‘talent poor’. But is it the way everyone should go, is it a rational way to structure every department because solid business benefits will accrue – or is it a reaction to primal forces that have nothing to do with IT?
What do you think? Are people, including CIO’s, rational or gut?