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Cloud Computing From a Different Perspective
Is your business ready? Are you?

Burton Group Executive Advisory Blog

Discussions around the impact of cloud computing frequently center on services - software as a service, infrastructure as a service, everything as a service. In the "there is never anything new under the sun" camp, these were similar to conversations in by-gone years about centrex vs. buying a PBX, ADP vs. hiring a payroll clerk, etc etc. The same decision criteria pertain - concerns about availability, security, trust, control.

But some recent exposure to thought leaders bring a whole new dynamic to cloud computing; specifically Nicholas Carr's "Big Switch", and Kevin Kelly's thoughts being circulated on Ted.com. Carr is riding the wave of his "Does IT Matter?" diatribe, and the book is a followup to that (somewhat). His basic approach is to compare the development of other technologies (especially electricity generation and distribution) to IT, and show how IT will move from locally owned generated capacity to centralized services ...the cloud. And in doing that, IT as a function for a corporation, won't matter (as much). Kevin Kelly's thoughts take it to another level, and discuss "the cloud" in biological and spiritual terms (ala Ray Kurzweil). Think "Singularity". Integration of human knowledge and biological processing capacity with machine knowledge and processing capacity.

And then there are the security impacts. If it walks like a biological system and quacks like a biological system, then....and that means all the good and bad things associated with natural systems (major meltdowns, unintended consequences, etc.)

One thing is for certain. Computers started impacting businesses 40 years ago, and have had an amazing run. But the next 40 will make those advances look like child's play. Watch out. Is your business ready? Are you?


[This post appeared originally here and is republished in full with the kind permission of the author, who retains copyright]

About Jack Santos
Jack Santos is an Executive Strategist for Burton Group Executive Advisory Program. He covers organizational development, leadership and management practices, governance, vendor management, data and applications architecture, systems integration, and Internet and e-business solutions. Prior to joining Burton Group, Santos served in leadership roles for Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, Maximus, Liberty Mutual Group, Bowstreet Software, and Catholic Medical Center Hospital. With 28 years of experience in IT and business operations and his expertise as an agent of change he has helped struggling enterprise IT organizations quickly assess critical issues and develop plans to successfully address those issues.

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