An Alternative POV on IBM’s "Cloud" Announcement

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The post below comes to us from Kirstan Ryan, Enterprise Communications Specialist.

There is a lot of hype surrounding “cloud computing.” Unfortunately, most vendors are using this hype to sell existing products under a fancy new cloud moniker.

Take the announcement by IBM yesterday. When I read it, I thought wow this is just another way to spin the need for expensive professional services. It appears I am not the only one to draw that conclusion, according to James Urquhart’s blog post on Cnet yesterday:

"Rather than working to increase usability and self-manageability of the tools in the new world of self-service clouds, IBM seems to be digging in and reinforcing IBM-as-a-Service and the service-oriented (as in "requires professional services") nature of their software products. I'm not sure IBM is capable of surprising us with beautiful, simple data center system software anymore."

I agree with James, one of the most compelling reasons to move to a cloud-based architecture, and leverage software-as-a-service applications, is to help ease application management and automate labor intensive tasks. It seems to me that if you are pulling in a ton of consultants to manage your cloud-based initiatives for 3, 5 or 10 years – aren’t you just paying a lot of money to postpone your problem?

My view on the cloud-based initiatives is that they should help you immediately simplify your IT management. Consultants should come in for shorter engagements measured in weeks, not years. And they should be measured in time-to-value. It is like when you first have a baby, and your in-laws come to visit, they are incredibly helpful and you can’t imagine life without them – but you don’t want them or need them to move in forever.

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