The wisdom of Clouds?

If, like me, you’re suffering from Cloud-fatigue, you may not be keen to read another post about it.   However, like it or not, the Cloud hype of recent years is turning into Cloud reality as the mist clears.

Is The Cloud maturing?

Yesterday there was an announcement that the Cloud Industry Forum has released it’s code of practice for cloud computing services.  The wild frontier of “Cloud” is being tamed it seems as the industry grows up.  Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other cloud platform and services providers have been upping their game, publishing extensive security white papers to give comfort to larger corporate and public sector organisations.  Toes that have been dipped into using Cloud services have been followed by ankles and knees and in some cases have gone right up to the neck – or maybe they’ve got their head in the clouds (sorry).

Just another decision

So where have we got to with the Cloud?  Well, hopefully there’s more pragmatism and sense being applied now in that people realise it’s not so much a revolution as just another way of delivering technology.  As I saw a commentator recently put it, “Going into the cloud is nothing more than a make vs. buy decision” in an article called, provocatively, “Why ‘the cloud’ doesn’t matter“.  The point being, it’s just another purchasing/procurement/planning exercise – i.e. where are we going to put this new system, on site or in the cloud?  The difference is that you’re buying a service rather than a software licence, so you need to take the appropriate approach.

Due diligence

This chimed with a great presentation from our very own Grant Campbell a few weeks back, entitled “Navigating through the Cloud…a guide to the legal issues”.  To paraphrase Grant, “going into the Cloud” is basically outsourcing, so you should treat it as such, approach it carefully, do your due diligence and consider the implications: where is our data going to be, who controls it, what are the risks, what will the service level be, what happens if it all goes wrong, how do we exit/get our data back, and so on.

Ever increasing circles

I’ll be speaking at The Cloud Circle Forum tomorrow on a similar topic – sharing a platform with Mimecast – and providing a customer’s perspective on Cloud.  I’ll be talking about what we’ve done when considering moving services to the cloud, and borrowing liberally from taking inspiration from Grant’s presentation regarding the legal questions to consider.  Will it live up to the Cloud hype?  Probably not, but then the delivery is always more difficult and more mundane than a sales pitch and we’re really looking at bringing the Cloud back down to earth.

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