From a Newly Minted Evangelist?

Those that know me well would be surprised to find me evangelising on the cloud. However, I am not an evangelist. For me, it is clear that the cloud is not just a trend, but a fundamental shift in the way IT is provided that no business can ignore. So I genuinely believe that every business, however large or small, should be facing up to the challenges it brings, by making carefully considered judgements and rational decisions on what to do, and when to do it; setting their strategy, and planning for adoption. If this means I come across as a zealot, it is for promoting considered, well-thought-out business decisions in response to new ways of thinking. The cloud just happens to be the one that cannot be ignored right now.

Over the last decade or more, numerous trends have emerged in the technology and service sector. Every trend brings its new promoters and detractors, early adopters, and laggards running to catch up. I am always stunned by the capacity of businesses to either lose their heads, or bury them in the sand when new trends emerge. It is always amazing to see business overreact or under-react to these fads. Whether it was the rush to outsource services, then bring them in house again; the push to offshore then re-shore them; the surge of internet commerce, followed by the dot com bust, and most recently the emergence of mobile and social media; businesses either rush head long and crash, or ignore them and get left behind. So if I am any kind of evangelist, it is for measured and careful assessment. Boring? Perhaps, but necessary.

The cloud transition will happen, it has gone way past critical mass. Over the coming year, computing time and storage will become a utility pumped into offices down wires, like electricity or wirelessly like mobile phones. Software consumption and development is having to adapt to this new model, those who do not, will be extinct before they know what has hit them. I therefore challenge anyone reading this, to ask themselves if they and their business are prepared for this transition