How to overcome cloud computing hurdles

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Best Practices Chasm

Pragmatists appreciate the IT and business benefits of cloud services but are less risk averse to what they see as a high-risk proposition. These pragmatists wants to make sure that cloud service products have gone through multiple released versions and utilize standardized APIs and have matured to the point in which they are supported by the majority of mainstream products. In effect, pragmatists want a reliable standard. In addition, the pragmatists want access to the best practices and antipatterns that the enthusiasts and visionaries have encountered.

Pragmatists are risk averse and thus tend to consume cloud services from known focused cloud service providers with a reputation for providing quality, stable, and mature cloud services. To cross this chasm, pragmatists need to understand consuming and producing cloud services best practices and patterns and to have access to detailed case studies and references from organizations within their own industry.

Business Case Chasm

Conservatives delay any technical major decisions and tend to be followers. Therefore, for the conservatives to cross this chasm, they will wait until cloud computing hits the bottom of the hype curve and moves up toward the slope of enlightenment. The two key areas to assist with crossing this chasm are education and cloud business case development.

Education is paramount to the conservatives, especially around cloud costs and benefits and the differences between utilizing cloud services and traditional data center costs and benefits. Conservatives require a business case specific to their organization rather than taking a boilerplate example and plugging in numbers.

Conservatives tend to be hesitant because cloud services are classified as a disruptive technology, which conservatives are against because it requires political and culture changing events to occur within their enterprises. Conservatives would rather concentrate on the current-year objectives rather than on multiyear disruptive technology projects that would affect the "business as usual" culture.

Conservatives will wait until cloud services becomes an established standard not only in their industry but also across multiple industries. At the end of the day, conservatives require a multitude of cross-industry cloud computing references with a detailed return on investment (ROI) business case before investing substantially.

Avoiding the Inevitable Chasm

Again, education is paramount to the late-to-market organization in detailing the differences between cloud services and past and existing technology strategies such as hosting, application service providers (ASPs), and virtualization.

Some late-to-market organizations will wait until cloud computing hits its adoption peak and then try to play catch-up with their competitors. This can be an expensive and disruptive proposition because cloud services require a culture change, which in turn requires time to feed in some learning experiences.

Because time is of the essence for the late-to-market organizations, this imposes more pressure on the late-to-market organizations as they try to speed the culture-changing process through. Therefore, the late-to-market organizations actually have a higher chance of failure.

The late-to-market organizations either don't understand the full scope of cloud services or believe that there is a more risk-averse manner in which to achieve the same benefits that cloud services offers. Late-to-market organizations believe that cloud computing is just marketing or hype and that the benefits and approach to cloud services is no different from ASPs or virtualization.

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