Dear Bob ...
In case you missed it, the April 2011 issue of CIO magazine is all about cloud computing. I'm basically in agreement with your take on the cloud, but I'm worried that people who might be, umm, less familiar with it (CIOs) may now have even more fodder for pushing it into places where it doesn't belong.
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If you ever need a cheap joke, I'd check out the photo on page 16 -- it includes the caption: "Lojas Renner CIO Leandro Balbinot says the key to successful cloud implementation is giving oneself over to the vendor's processes." (I'm not making that up.)
Please please please continue to push some logic against the "all cloud, all the time" mantra that it coming from other media outlets.
One of the main arguments for cloud computing seems to center on capital expenditures versus operating expenses (capex vs. opex), that operating expenses are better since it lets you be more flexible. I get it -- mostly.
But I'd like to hear your thoughts. It seems to me that if I have 100TB of storage today, then I'm about 99.99 percent certain I'll need at least 100TB next year and my capex investment is likely to be fully realized. Isn't that a pretty good argument for capex? If not, doesn't that suggest we should all be leasing cars instead of buying them? OK, maintenance costs make that a bad example, but you get the point.
Dear Cloudy ...
I'm flattered you think I have this kind of impact on the industry, but I'm sad to say my influence is far more limited. For whatever it's worth: The quote is unfortunate. Somewhere inside it is a valid notion -- that when you outsource any service, including hosting, an important part of what you're buying are the vendor's processes and practices. I'd say that's a matter requiring serious due diligence, though. This is a business relationship, and "giving oneself over" has connotations I find unnerving on multiple levels.
On the opex/capex issue, I'm pleased that industry commentators are getting this right -- well, half right. It's like this: Opex means lower fixed costs and higher marginal costs, while capex means higher fixed costs and lower marginal costs.