Cloud computing and the IT department
Posted on 15 Oct 2010 at 14:15
Steve Cassidy thinks it's about time IT departments had the 'cloud talk'
We need to talk about this cloud thing. And when I say talk, what I mean is, close the office door, press “do not disturb” on the phone, and close that Slashdot page.
Cloud is coming; maybe not in the way that the analysts think it is – but there is very little chance that anyone in the IT sector will be unaffected by either cloud concepts, or by the mis-selling of some other kind of product under a cloud banner.
We’re all professionals, whether permanent or contract. This means that we believe our role in a business has an agreed value, to the business, and to us: The way the cloud bandwagon is rolling at the moment is – let’s not beat about the bush – a direct threat to the careers of a very large swathe of the IT business.
Cloud is about extending what you’ve already got, to make use of other resources
The irony is, the people who fit this description most closely are currently snorting and chuckling derisively at my words. That’s what they do: misplaced aloof derision is the stereotype of the IT worker. Cambridge professors ruefully admit how difficult it makes their industry outreach projects; sitcom writers make their living off it and there are whole sites – whole galaxies of sites – out there on the net that take that tone and run with it.
Let’s not kid ourselves; if we are sat down beside a salesman in a white shirt with a bolt through the neck, and we have to make ourselves look more appealing, it is a hell of a job to win the day without sounding whiney, paranoid, and defensive. IT departments that play the yearly budget bloat game, mixed with an unhealthy dose of that derision thing, are sitting ducks when it comes to salesmen armed with the “C” word and access to board members who are just that bit extra tired, this week, of being talked down to.
I am not saying this is a universal fate, incidentally, because just as much as business operators can work out when they are being patronised, so too they can tell when a salesman has no idea what’s behind the thing he is selling. Cloud is new – in fact if you listen carefully to the top levels of architecture and product planning in the business, as I have been on this topic since 2007, you will find that they are perfectly frank: cloud is so new that a number of the components to making it actually work as intended don’t even exist yet.
Extending your resources
Cloud is about extending what you’ve already got, to make use of other resources. Mis-sold cloud is about replacing what you’ve already got, somewhere you can’t see it, connected by a link on which you are at best, a spectator, for more money, with security provided by promises instead of by a fire door and a steel server room cage.
Put that way round, refuting the pitch from that guy with the 80’s tie and the Audi doesn’t seem such a tall order.
In all likelihood, the eventual outcome will be a compromise – businesses will agree that a particular job is a cloud “no-brainer” and that the intimate and seemingly permanent derivative risks of cloying outsourcing contracts are actually no safer for their business than the IT guys that these replaced. Indeed, some are a whole lot less safe, especially in a new fresh raw market without standards or regulation.
There is nobody else in your businesses, except you, who has the type of oversight that will extract value and sanity from, quite frankly, a tidal wave of evangelism and hype.
For more details about purchasing this feature and/or images for editorial usage, please contact Jasmine Samra on firstname.lastname@example.org
- BBC admits £100 million IT project was a "waste"
- ISPs offer network-level porn filters to dodge "regulatory threats"
- Intel: PC designs "not compelling enough"
- Microsoft reinstates the Start button – on a mouse
- Google considers $1 billion bid for satnav firm Waze
- Hyperoptic extends 1Gbit/sec broadband beyond London
- Lenovo defies PC slump to post 90% profit increase
- Schools warm up to BYOD for tablets
- Xbox One: what it means for Windows PCs
- IBM's Watson answers customers' questions
- Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast