Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring

I attended a Webinar today where IBM discussed their Cloud Computing initiative including their "Cloudburst" offering. David Dworkin of the Tivoli business unit took the audience through
justifications for going to cloud which included a survey conducted last year of companies that had implemented a cloud application. The top three reasons for going to cloud for these companies was:
  1. Innovation
  2. Time to Profitability
  3. Reduced costs
IBM is recommending that companies first move to internal clouds that reside safely inside the corporate firewall but consolidate various departmental applications. They claim such a move will have following benefits:
  • Can reduce IT Labor costs by 50%
  • Can improve capital utilization by 75%
  • Reduce provisioning cycle times from weeks to minutes
  • Can reduce end user IT support costs by 40%
In my opinion it seems Amazon EC2 is more SMB start-ups with quick roll out and low up front costs while IBM is aiming at Fortune 500 with large IT budgets under pressure.

During the webinar the host asked the audience (I did not see how many were attending) a couple of survey questions...

Which best describes your organization's level of adoption of Cloud Computing services?
None, but not evaluating.
None, but currently evaluating one or more services.
Currently getting ready to trial a Cloud Computing service.
Limited trial adoption of one Cloud Computing service.
Currently running one or more crucial set of business tasks through the Cloud.

David thought this was a little surprising compared with survey results IBM sponsored last year. He speculated that companies may be using clouds without being aware of it.

What are the biggest reasons your organization has yet to migrate any services off to the Cloud?
Concerns over security
Need to "own" and manage the data center
Regulatory obstacles
Management does not see the potential for quick ROI
No skepticism, just looking for the right solution

Of course remember that this population had already self selected to having enough of an interest in cloud to invest time in attending the webinar so these answers do not represent the general market.

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