Will Cloud Services Be Good Enough?

Thinking IT Through

Will Cloud Services Be Good Enough?

By David H. Yedwab, Founding Partner

Market Strategy and Analytics Partners LLC  |  January 01, 2012

This article originally appeared in the January issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.

Back almost three decades ago, when the grey-hairs among us first started hearing about and maybe lugging around big/heavy cell phones, we knew the call quality would be terrible and dropped calls would be de rigueur. However, the power of mobility was overwhelming, and we accepted the bad sound quality, poor coverage and outlandish per-minute rates because of the benefit of not being tied to a wired desk phone. That is, we accepted mobile phones as users, and now there are more connected mobile devices than people. Now IT is not wrestling so much with how to support mobile devices as with how to support the bring-your-own-device trend.

Today, the cloud hype is similarly overwhelming – both in the volume and breadth. But so are the reported failures and extended outages as we wrestle with the purported benefits of lower costs, speed of deploying/up-scaling/down-scaling, and the potential for better disaster recovery/failover/ recovery, and support for remote and mobile workers, etc. Should we deploy private, public or hybrid clouds? What cloud modes should we do – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS (News - Alert)? And for those of us in the voice/UC crowd: Is UCaaS (hosted/cloud UC) a viable option?

I would posit that the proper cloud question isn’t if but when. I come to this conclusion that cloud is the ultimate commoditization of computing hardware, or to put it another way, computing resources are rapidly becoming a utility – with coming ubiquitous availability and capabilities from cloud – much broader and cheaper than any but the largest multi-national enterprises can provide for themselves. For those of you who may have heard me speak skeptically about cloud, as “Back to the Future” of early transaction processing systems or timesharing on mainframes, you may be surprised to hear that I am now an advocate of cloud.

So, given I’ve changed my cloud spots, what am I advocating that we do to transform to cloud? Well, study, plan, analyze, pilot, test and begin to deploy as the business cases show that both quality and price can be improved by deploying in cloud. Beginning to get ready now before you are compelled exogenously is the course I recommend for all today. And deploy in steps – another benefit of cloud is you don’t have to be all-in at the first moment. Instead, youcan begin the transformation as your plans make sense, and your early applications can accept some reliability and quality issues and still recover and begin to reap the cloud’s benefits. Let’s keep this early dialogue going in this and future discussions. 

David Yedwab, a technology marketing industry veteran with more than 25 years experience providing business strategy advice to major tech firms, writes the Thinking It Through column for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf