Cloud Expo New York 2012

Today I spent the day listening to cloud vendors, large and small. It was obvious to me that the cloud marketplace is still in its infancy with regards to meeting enterprise IT needs. I was also struck with how “hungry” enterprise IT is for cloud services! Clearly, we are still in the first generation of cloud.

Most enterprise conversations seem to be dominated by security concerns (still) mostly, it seems, from trying to port legacy applications to cloud, versus rewriting or reengineering. Take encrypted data for example. It’s harder to layer on data encryption after the fact. It’s much easier to build it in from scratch. Simply put, if you want benefits of cloud computing, you need to build cloud computing applications and infrastructure.

It’s not just the applications either. We’re coining a new term here, “legacy ops”, to refer to the operational processes that get in the way of cloud computing. Key IT activities like IT Compliance, Audit and Change Management are optimized for traditional (read legacy) IT. They need to change to accommodate the cloud.

Cloud providers and suppliers should rethink their approach as well. Many vendors seem to offer what we used to call co-located or outsourced IT infrastructure. They may call it “cloud”, but it really isn’t cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS.)

All in all today had a “gold rush” feeling. We all remember that story — lots of prospectors looking for gold, and a few actually found it too! But the real money was made selling tools to the prospectors…  it’s an exciting time for IT!

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