Today I read a posting on Joe McKendrick's blog called Is Cloud computing too good to be true for enterprises. His blog entry was inspired by postings of some of his colleague bloggers on ZDNet. It is a nice article discussing the pros and (a bit more) cons of cloud computing for the enterprise from the perspective of SaaS, PaaS, Google and Amazon. So be it.
Reading the article two things came to my mind.
The following quote attracted my attention:
In many cases, even 20-year-old mainframe programs contain custom processes and logic that provide market advantages.
I wouldn't put my cards on a company that relies for its market advantage on 20 years old IT-systems... It is a loser's model nowadays! Modern IT evolvements are currently inclining the world explosively. Not the least reason because of the introduction of ultimate connectivity; every home nowadays has multiple IP-addresses (I even carry one with me every day in my pocket), to mention just one of todays IT-characteristics that didn't exist 10 years ago. Knowledge of the occurrence of even the smallest event spreads around the world within a few seconds (by everyone, from every home, at no cost, and with audio and moving pictures!) to mention just another of today's characteristics. Relying on software (and supported processes), build in an age when these characteristics were laughed away as irrational fantasies, needs not be a big issue. But if your business depends on it for its current market advantage... o boy!
Of course cloud computing is the way to go!
I do cloud computing myself every day by handling my financials via a web browser connected over the Internet to an external service provider - my bank - whose systems (and data centers) I don't know, whose personnel I've never met, whose office I've never visited, and whom I yet allow to safeguard my money. This is an extreme example of outsourcing sensitive processes to an external service provider. This external service provider deals with my most risk sensitive assets like my salary - and pays my bills from my own money partly even without any of my interference. And I control the process via the cloud. What the heck security issues and no future for cloud computing... It is just going to happen and you'd better be prepared if you want to stay in business.