Last week's Chesapeake Regional Tech Council BBQ on the Bay was a great venue for ByteGrid to not only market their cutting edge Cloud Hosting services but also hear what local business leaders are saying about the future of Cloud Computing. 350+ attendees were focused on business (small/medium/large) and all seemingly curious as to how technology impacts the success or failure of those businesses.
Sidus's prominent banner, "ByteGrid IS Cloud Hosting," triggered a number of engaging conversations and with Sidus' Director of Business Development, Don Nippard, leading the charge as Event Chairman, Sidus both taught and learned a thing or two. Here are some highlights of the thoughts shared both at the event and at another recent tech gathering:
"...as cloud computing matures, companies large and small will continue to leverage it over investing in a personal Datacenter. We have seen this before- manufacturing companies would generate their own power for their plants. Now they leverage the power grid because it is a smarter business decision. Sure, maybe they have a few generators in case of emergency, but day to day business is done completely on the grid.”
"...total agreement regarding the hosting of services within the cloud for small businesses. They have quick access to services 'on demand' and you should be able to help them concentrate on growing their business. Not everyone has 'big bucks' to allocate on a dedicated IT staff or IT infrastructure. The cloud is a perfect fit for these businesses especially with turn-key offerings."
"Why would you assume that a company's IP is more secure if it's on a computer located in their offices as opposed to a virtualized 'cloud' server located behind an industrial-strength firewall/maintained by a dedicated staff? In many small business, the use of low-end (or none) firewalls is prevalent, and updates are neglected. These companies don't have on-site IT staff, and thus this activity is outsourced. Many small business owners will limit the billable hours to keep their costs down. Conversely, by locating their IT assets 'in the cloud' with other small businesses, they enjoy the use of equipment that they can neither afford to buy nor maintain properly."
“I've seen servers in deplorable conditions: located in janitor closets, sitting on chairs, next to sump pumps, etc., with no security policies in place. And they wonder why they have so many problems. Many company's IP may even be more secure in the cloud than it is now.”
“...Cloud is here to stay. And whilst it is seen as a threat to many IT departments, personally, I would see it as an opportunity, and should be instead put into strategies in a controlled manner rather than hated and ignored. Whilst it has many problems, business departments have their own money to spend on IT, which may be with IT departments, but if they fail to deliver (for whatever reason), the money will instead be thrown at those who can provide - SaaS is a catalyst for that”
“I don't fear cloud computing, however you want to define it, and I'm not in fear of losing my job... However, what bothers me about cloud computing is the marketing machines rush to embrace it and to try to convince everyone that it is mature and cost effective. There is money to be made in the new market and the vendors are quick to push it down our throats, not fully revealing the consequences to such a move.”
“...Not to mean that the technology is mature or robust enough to move the entire datacenter. That is absurd and anyone with a few years technical experience running a corporate datacenter would understand that currently, the risks do not outweigh the rewards, much less the cost/benefit analysis. Yet no one talks about these decisions or what is involved in making them. It can be a partial solution- doesn’t have to be all/none.”
“There are good things happening from vendors in the cloud, but the decisions on what should go and what should stay are paramount and require a good deal of research per datacenter in order to know what is cost effective and reliable for the consumer. I value Sidus’ opinion and would give much weight to your thoughts as I consider options...”
“Cloud Computing seems inevitable as bandwidth increases and as more applications become available. Web 2.0 has already demonstrated that people and organizations are willing to move to a newer model made possible because of the access speeds.”
“I don't think it's a question of Cloud Computing or not Cloud Computing but much more a question of how do we decide who are the guys to go with, what applications make sense to host outside the corporate environment and what are the business risks involved. This is no different to deciding who to use for providing our WAN links, which software to choose for our business systems, what hardware and operating systems we should utilise.”
“... Cloud Computing, however you define it, is not the panacea for all but make no mistake, with greater bandwidth available to individuals and to companies a different architectural model is emerging (arguably already has). It is happening, it won't go away, learn to live with it, embrace it as IT people are very good at doing and let's figure out best practice models.”
“I believe in 1-2 years the term ‘cloud’ will fade away and that this approach will just be a matter of course for many, if not all, IT professionals.”