Risks of a Model Nearing Maturity

Here are some factors CFOs should take into account when their organization considers moving data, applications, or infrastructure to the public cloud.

If one were to swallow the cloud-computing hype whole, its adoption in the enterprise is inevitable. It will lower IT costs and speed up IT delivery and business-project implementations. It will transform IT as we know it, all at the flick of a switch.

However, back on planet Earth, the volatile and rapidly evolving nature of cloud computing is bringing with it a fragmentation of definitions, interpretations, and value propositions for organizations, not to mention a degree of information overload. CFOs may be confused as to what all the shouting is about, what business benefits cloud computing could provide, and how to assess, accurately and holistically, its costs and risks.

Until recently, the initial focus of most of the hype has been on the public cloud; i.e., a cloud you share with others. (It’s worth mentioning that credible cloud providers have emerged that offer a blend of public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, giving organizations options other than the unadulterated public cloud.) And the question “Why should I choose a particular public cloud solution today if there’s going to be a lower-cost alternative that’s better suited to my business tomorrow?” is being asked by organizations that are being a bit more deliberate in their decision-making processes. This is a valid question, especially considering the difficulties in switching cloud providers due to the current lack of standards for interoperability.

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