"Cheshire-Puss," she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.
It's hard to read any technical publication, visit any conference, or attend a meeting of IT leaders without the term "Cloud Computing" being mentioned. But what is it? Why does it matter to me?
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where---" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"---So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
G.K. Chesterton said (approximately 80 years ago) "“It isn't that they can't see the solution. It's that they can't see the problem.” His words still ring true when I look at the "solutions" being presented to me in the area of cloud computing.
There is great danger of failure as IT leaders if we build our strategy around current trends and buzzwords. If we do not clearly understand the organizational issues we are trying to solve, we will select the wrong tools. As the old maxim goes... "When the only tool you have is a hammer, it's amazing how everything starts to look like a nail."
It is my opinion that we need to approach cloud computing vendors with a list of our current challenges? How will this allow me to connect to global offices? How will this help me manage a finite budget and resources and allow me to focus on the things that differentiate my organization? How will this help me ensure we are compliant with regulations? What happens in my offices with sporadic connectivity to the Internet? (If you think I'm kidding, try and set up a regional office in communities in Northern Ontario like Temagami).
If you can't define your story, you will be like the unfortunate Alice in the excerpt above... eventually getting "somewhere" with cloud computing, while all your competitors are leaving you in their dust.