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How Lean Is Your Cloud?

Gregor Petri

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Earlier this month the Times ran its regular "Cloud for Business" insert, in which I was asked to write a column on "Cloud for Digital Business" (see full text here). For reference I included below the piece on "The future of Cloud Computing" that it ran in an earlier edition. An item called: Cloud Spotting is the Shape of Things to Come. When asked to write a column with an ambitious title like “The future of the cloud”, it is a good idea to look first at where cloud is at the moment and to realise that it is still very early days. Today, of the $2.7 trillion that global business spends annually on IT, just 4.8 per cent is spent on cloud computing. The cloud’s penetration of the world of business is considerably less than its penetration of our daily lives. As consumers we get most of our news, information and increasingly entertainment through cloud services. In fact,... (more)

Tune into the Cloud: The Billionaire Boys Club

Not too long ago, it took even the most successful entrepreneurs several centuries or at least decades to reach a valuation of a billion and thus become a member of the exclusive Billionaire Boys Club*. Families like the Rothschilds, the Waltons or the Brenninkmeijers have indeed built up impressive capital wealth, but because it took them several generations, it often became quite diluted among brothers, sons, daughters, nieces, and even third-degree-nephews. With the advent of first: IT, then the Internet and now the cloud, that time frame has rapidly shrunk. Today companies w... (more)

Tune Into the Cloud: Blow

English version of cloudworks.nu column Blow Once in a while there is a powerhouse that gives an entire industry a huge blow. An example of such a move is how Beyoncé released her latest album in what observers called a fan-oriented instead of an industry-oriented way. In the cloud such a role has been attributed to Amazon Web Services , who against logic and existing wisdom began selling IT compute infrastructure by the hour (as a service). Amazon Web Services likes to talk about its customer-first strategy. According to Amazon they prefer focusing on providing what makes most sen... (more)

Part 3: SaaS and the New Role of the IT Manager

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here. Cloud purists would argue that a true Cloud IT organization exclusively uses services (SaaS) and owns no software, let alone platforms or infrastructure. And if these purists started a brand new organization today, they might have a point, at least until their first takeover or merger. This not having an installed base, allegedly enabled God to create the world in six days, but just for the sake of argument, let's examine what the responsibilities of our Cloud IT Manager would be in such a green pasture, pure SaaS environment. First thing that comes to ... (more)

Nick Carr's 2003 Rules for IT Management: An Open Nerve?

If an article, 10 years after its initial publication date, is featured in several look backs, reviews, Q&As and still gathers reactions and emotional analysis, it can be concluded it must have struck a chord - or in this case - more an open nerve. In May 2003*, the Harvard Business Review published "IT Doesn't Matter" , an article by then still largely unknown editor "at large" Nicholas Carr. The premise of the article was that infrastructure has a diminishing impact on competitiveness and that IT was infrastructure (although Carr in the recent Q&A seems to indicate he meant IT In... (more)