Cloud: It’s about opportunities, not obstacles



blog One of the key messages that is coming out of the cloud computing camp at the moment is the concept that those who are thinking about this new paradigm of IT infrastructure purely through the lens of the old are missing out on the opportunities that it offers. A good piece on the issue comes from Rackspace Asia-Pacific chief technology officer Alan Perkins, formerly an influential chief information officer who had been an early cloud pioneer in Australia. Perkins writes on his personal blog (we recommend you click here for the full article):

While IT teams must ensure that systems are safe and data is secure, it is ironic that by focusing too much on security and availability, many CIOs are exposing themselves, and their employers, to a far greater risk – the risk of missing the opportunities presented by new technologies emerging from Cloud Computing. The CIOs who will provide the greatest value to their employer will be those who approach Cloud by asking themselves “what can we now achieve that was previously inconceivable?”

If you examine the past year or so of news in Australia’s enterprise IT space, particularly the typically slow-moving and conservative financial services and state government sectors (not so much the Federal Government), it’s hard to disagree with the points Perkins makes. We’ve now seen quite a few examples of major organisations in Australia which would not have been able to pursue a business or public interest outcome with the speed, flexibility or cost that they did if they had not had the cloud computing class of technologies available. Many organisations are starting to take a “cloud-first” approach, as a result of this growing corporate knowledge.

The issue is also prevalent in the startup and small business sectors, which it is extremely common, almost normal, for new businesses to rely almost entirely on cloud services, in areas such as IT, billing, customer relationship management, marketing and more.

Of course, on-premises deployments will always have their place. I like Chrome OS, but as a full-time desktop operating system it’s abysmal. I stream plenty of content online, but I sometimes get irritated when I have to wait for a video to buffer, and wish it was stored on my hard disk. There are many corporate use cases where cloud will never meet the needs of a major organisation. However, there is now a growing body of evidence that there are also many use cases where something will function must better provided as a service than it would as a standalone deployment. If you ignore the whole category for the usual reason (data sovereignty being the usual one), you will miss out on the chance to do things the best way possible.

Image credit: Fred Fokkelman, royalty free


  1. The opportunities are much greater with higher speed broadband availability to more people. The NBN would lead to greater cloud growth which would lead to more and more services that justify the kind of speeds the NBN would have provided.

    Cloud Services + NBN would create a positive feedback loop.

    The lack of the NBN will slow down both the setting up and the uptake of Cloud Services.

    • Unfortunately what we are going to get is a stunted hybrid were the speed you get will be determined either by technical lottery or luck in terms of where you live.

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