Cloudy, with a chance of software…

When you work in IT, and particularly when you work on consulting, people are in to the next big thing. If you’re not working on the next big thing, you feel like you’re missing something critical.

The buzzword d’jour for the last few years has been ‘cloud’. Put it out in the cloud, the cloud makes business more agile, the cloud saves money, etc. The cloud has its place, but you have tradeoffs. You have no control over the environment. You have to continually pay for licensing – in the cloud, you own nothing. You don’t even own the data – legalities aside, the data is sitting on equipment that you don’t own. The cloud provider could go offline at any point leaving you high and dry. I don’t really think that Amazon will go out of business soon – but what happens if it did?  Backups, obviously, but now you have to look at how to back up and recover your cloud environment.

In the past, if you bought Exchange 2007, you owned it. If your cash flow meant you couldn’t afford Exchange 2010 when it came out, then you kept running 2007. In the new cloud world, you’re bound to a monthly or annual subscription. A cash flow problem means your business stops. I don’t object to looking for cloud solutions to many business problems, but people seem to be rushing to the cloud without considering all of the ramifications.


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