One element of the debate was the rise of business initiated cloud computing, which the CIO may never hear about. Something I’m calling the Stealth Cloud
Cloud Computing seems to have struck a chord in a way that ASP, OnDemand, SaaS and all the previous incarnations never have. Every analyst is blogging and tweeting about it, there are a slew of conferences, and a surprising number of books have already been published.
And there is now more than one sort of Cloud. There are Public Clouds and Private Clouds. I propose “Stealth Cloud” should be added to the lexicon. As the name suggests is does its job – quietly, unseen, unnoticed.
So business people are embracing the ideas of Cloud Computing. Why? Because they can see immediate value from the applications and services being offered. And with technology becoming easier to develop there seems to be no limit to what is being provided in the Cloud, all packaged in a very compelling, fun user experience.
Consumers are business people too
So when the individual is provided with these elegant services as a consumer it is inevitable that they bring them to work. With services such as on-line backup, project management, CRM, collaboration and social networking all available through a browser, is it any surprise business users are signing up and ignoring the staid and boring applications provided by the IT department.
Hence the rise of the Stealth Cloud. Services being consumed by business users without the knowledge, permission or support of the CIO and the IT department.
The widening business IT divide
Too much has been talked about the Business IT divide. But unfortunately the Stealth Cloud has driven an even greater rift between business and IT. It is exposing, as far as the business are concerned the lack of flexibility, agility and responsiveness of IT. From IT’s perspective who can see the risks (operational, compliance and integration) of using some of these Cloud services, is simply underlines how cavalier and naïve the business users are.
Corporate systems are costly to build and maintain. They are mission critical and need to support the entire operation. So there is a good reason why the internal IT department cannot ‘knock-out’ application as fast as a nimble start-up. The IT department is spending 80% of its time and effort ‘keeping the lights on’ and the remaining 20% on providing new solutions that are robust, scalable, secure and integrated into the core applications. How many of the ‘new’ Cloud providers are truly enterprise ready?