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It’s all a case of History repeating…

If we look at the PC revolution of the 1980s, we can start to see some remarkable parallels with what might happen with Cloud computing. The PC revolution took a number of the existing big vendors by surprise; in fact most of the big vendors were so taken taken aback that they are no longer here.

The PC revolution allowed department heads to go and do their own thing; it decentralised the control of the Information Technology budget and allowed users to bypass their slow moving IT departments. Whilst IT departments were debating whether PCs etc were good things and the existing vendors were fighting rear-guard actions trying to maintain their historically high margins; new vendors and paradigms came to the market and people moved on.

Arguably, in the mid-90s and with the Internet revolution; IT departments finally got hold of things again and began to hold the whip-hand again. Larger Unix servers, big networks and an ever growing demand for storage and centralised information allowed IT to do things better and for the last decade, centralised IT functions have probably had control.

But the revolution which allowed 'us' to gain control has evolved and changed into something which could lead to us loosing control again. The growth of the Public Cloud allows department heads to yet again bypass centralised IT functions and to take control back again; yet again we see the inevitable debates by internal IT functions, the dismissal of the Cloud, similar objection with regards to Security, Availability, Control, Scalability etc all raise their heads as they did during the PC revolution.

Have we learned nothing? The customer is king and we need to maintain the focus on the customer; telling the customer that they are wrong will not work, it didn't then and it won't now. Internal IT departments need to ask why their customers are looking at the Public Cloud and try to replicate those services internally.

IT Suppliers need to embrace Cloud and look to how their products can play but also to understand what they need to change. Things are changing again and continuing to carry on as you have in the past is not going to work.

But what I see at the moment both in corporate IT departments and in IT vendors is a scarey amount of lip-service to the notion of Cloud; or sometimes an arrogance belief that this will all go away. It won't but it's not all doom and gloom, I'll suggest reasons why in a subsequent post!

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