Skip to content

December 13, 2012

Why 2013 Is a Cloud-First Year

By Dave Courbanou

Anyone reading this is no stranger to the cloud, but there’s’ a good chance even the most seasoned CIOs could use a bit more education on how to use the cloud to the best of its ability.

Forrester Research analyst James Staten recommends in a blog that businesses “get real about the cloud” and start making bigger moves to incorporate bigger business processes into cloud services. The reason is simple: it’s the best way to accelerate business and improve the bottom line.

Staten offers a 10 point argument, detailing all the beneficial aspects about getting “real” with the cloud, but we know CIOs are busy. Here are Staten’s major arguments condensed and analyzed.

Cloud is Concrete: The cloud has earned its wings and in 2013, there should be no question about what the cloud can do and how it works. With the enigma and stigma gone, figuring out all applicable uses for the cloud is critical. That may mean having in-house IT dig deep about existing inefficiencies and potential setup a task force to research potential solutions. Likewise, Staten suggests CIOs “stop stressing about service level agreements” and focus on finding a cloud vendor that can build a resilient and right-sized cloud app portfolio. It’s really about the apps, and Staten makes it plain. “What’s the value of having your sourcing and vendor management team negotiate a high and tight SLA from the cloud vendor when only 10% of the applications deployed there need that level of protection?”

Cloud is Mobile: Mobile apps that link up to back-end services are the lifeblood of the new workforce and represent the sweeping paradigm shift of the mobile work force. The advice is simple: when picking new cloud service and applications, be smart and seek out SaaS applications that also include mobile counterparts, particularly if they have native device applications. This will make building out a true mobile work place a very simple process with obvious benefits.

Cloud is Cash: Cash in your pocket, that is. Spending time understanding how cloud can help a business adjust their business expenses is one of most alluring aspects of the cloud, but it’s more than just measuring OPEX and CAPEX. Cloud monitoring and cloud reporting tools can help CIOs understand what level of service is needed within their cloud spending budget. Likewise, understanding when public cloud options are smarter than in-house are also part of the process. Not only can public cloud shrink overall costs, it can expand the reach, breadth and interoperability apps and services have with other cloud apps. Again, Staten makes it plain — executives need to “get comfortable with the fact that development on public clouds is going to happen whether they like it or not” and start talking to developers and cloud vendors about how to do it safely.

Cloud is Safe: No cloud is solution is complete with cloud backup technology in some form. Even if CIOs aren’t looking to put full backups off site, its worth considering the time, effort and space that long-term on-premise archival backups take up. Off-loading long-term storage to a cloud provider can eliminate capacity concerns and remove worry about compliance. More importantly, cloud backup, recovery and storage can complement existing on-site backups if having data on-hand is a concern. But neglecting to utilize the cloud as some kind of backup platform is simply inexcusable today, given the costs of managing and powering on-site backup.

Getting real isn’t about diving head first or relinquishing all command to a single cloud vendor, but in 2013, facing the reality of what cloud can provide is a necessity — it is truly now or never. CIO’s that don’t implement some kind of cloud strategy in 2013 are likely outgoing CIOs in 2014. But CIOs that invest in the cloud and make and implement a future-proof strategy will find delivering results wrought from new cloud innovations will be a natural process in the coming years.

Comments are closed.