Friday, October 29, 2010

"Dawn of a New Day"- Microsoft's Chief Software Architect support for the Cloud

Just a couple weeks back, Steve Ballmer announced Ray Ozzie's departure from Microsoft. Ray was the creator of Lotus Notes and assumed the post of Chief Software Architect back in 2006 where he drove Microsof't's overall technical strategy. Back then, Ray was already a clear proponent of the cloud and published a now well-known memo"The Internet Services Disruption". In it, he identified a number of changing trends in the industry and heralded the age of the online services and the challenge to Microsoft's grip on the market. In response, Ray initiated and led Microsoft's programme to develop the Windows Azure platform.

Today, Ray published a blog post entitled
"Dawn of a New Day". It's a long post but if you have time, it's worth a read. He discusses the coming of the post-pc era where computing will be delivered through continuous services (scaleable and always available) to connected devices (which are simple appliances to use that just work).

Friday, October 22, 2010

How do you determine if your business is ready for the cloud?

Last week, I was asked by my team for input on five questions. In this post, I’ve written-up my answer to the second: 2) How do you determine if your business is ready for the cloud?                                                                    
A variety of factors will influence how much benefit there is for a company to adopt cloud solutions and also the best adoption roadmap for them to take (which also answers if you are ready for the cloud along the way). It is a new and confusing landscape for organisations with many options and factors that can be taken into account or (explicitly) ignored. Decision makers need a blend of business and technology understanding in order to make the right choices. While the decision making process can be complex and requires detailed analysis I’ll lay out what I believe are the main areas that need to be addressed:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is cloud just hype or is it here to stay?

Just this week I was asked by my team for input on five questions. In this post, I’ve written-up my answer to the first.

1) Is cloud just hype or is it here to stay?

There’s no doubt that cloud is here to stay. Major enterprises have put down serious investments in this space including my own employer a major consulting firm who is making significant investment of time and skills in the cloud.

It is easy to see why people feel that Cloud might be all hype. Since the initial simple web-based CRM offering from SFDC announced at the start of the last decade, the promised dream of cloud computing has been well publicised while real offerings were pretty scarce. There’s no wonder that many people taking a look at the offerings back then, may have concluded that there was a lot of talk and not much “behind the curtains”. While a lot has been written about cloud computing over the past years, it is only now that the model is really providing enterprise-level alternatives to businesses. There have been some significant developments in 2010 that lead me to conclude that options are now real enough to prompt all enterprises to take a look. The Google Atmosphere event that took place in April this year is a case in point. Around 300 business executives (many of those CIOs) assembled at the Googleplex to hear leaders in the IT industry share real examples of enterprise adoption of cloud solutions. And recently at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five simple questions

Just this week I was asked by my team for input on the following five questions:

4) Does vendor lock-in become stronger with the cloud?
5) Security seems to be a barrier for users, how safe is the cloud?

I only got half an hour to pen my answers so just jotted down a few notes and passed them on. Over the next few posts I’ll write-up my notes and share with you my full answers on each of these questions.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Assessing the TCO case of the cloud

This week I was in "passionate discussion" with colleagues in a state of denial on the economics for the cloud. Their impression was that the TCO case for cloud adoption only stacked up in the real short-term and that long-term subscriptions with cloud vendors were more expensive than their on-premise equivalents. There certainly is a break-even point from owning your on-premise solution vs. subscribing to the cloud but where this occurs depends upon how you assess the running costs and this will differ from company to company.