Several insights this week into Cloud disrupting businesses, in more ways than one.
A report from the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) shows Cloud is causing some friction between business manager and IT managers: 50% of business managers view cloud as the default option for any new application, although only 19% of their IT colleagues agree. Potential for a lot of grumpy emails there.
AIIM pinpoint regulation and control as the top issues bothering IT managers, but there is a larger issue with valuing Cloud. Earlier this year, Forbes reporter Reuven Cohen ran an excellent analysis of Cloud costs which you can read here. The headline finding – Cloud is not necessarily cheaper than your own servers, especially if you have a significant baseload of traffic – is not surprising. But the value of Cloud for businesses is seen as its strategic benefits: differentiation, customer intimacy, opportunities for product innovation. Unfortunately many of these benefits are extremely hard to quantify.
On the other side of the fence, is it easier to quantify the costs of Cloud? Well, no. New start ups like Cloudyn may make it easier to account for Cloud operational costs and pinpoint where it should be used, but IT managers have their own strategic concerns: security, control, regulation. These are equally tricky to put solid numbers against and the models of costs will vary from industry to industry.
So for now we are left with two opposing sets of strategic concerns and plenty of potential for friction going forward, at least until IT managers are given performance targets relating to differentiation, opportunities for innovation and all those other good things. Until then, Cloud will continue to lend new meaning to the term disruptive technology.