This article originally appeared in the Q1 -2013 edition of Cloud Computing Magazine.
This past fall, the Northeast was blasted by a storm named Sandy that left millions without power and thousands without homes. Numerous data centers were flooded and down. All of this happened during the hype of the cloud.
One factor in favor of cloud is the ROI on IT investments. IT budgets have to get more value out of their expenditures – and cloud allows that to happen since it outsources hardware, licensing and management. This allows the current IT staff to work on priority projects that do add value to the organization.
As layoffs continue and the economy worsens, everyone has to do more with less. Cloud gives small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) access to enterprise grade software affordably. At its best, cloud services provide for business process improvement, which grants businesses the opportunity to do more with less, be efficient and more productive.
The idea of the office is changing with more employees going virtual and mobile. Cloud services permit access to data and apps from anywhere. This was challenged during Sandy since without power, accessing the Internet is difficult. The bottleneck tends to still be last mile access, where terrestrial broadband failed as did cellular services.
The factors for moving to cloud services are still clear and present. Will Sandy actualize a new perspective on cloud services like SaaS?
Considering a recent Citrix-Wakefield survey established that “51 percent believe stormy weather will interfere with cloud computing,” I don’t think perceptions have changed much.
Sandy will make savvy customers ask questions about redundancy, uptime and design. By design, I mean the way in which the data center and network architecture is built for failover and replication, basic disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC) planning. The problem with DR/BC is that it is expensive.
There are companies, like Netflix and Sonian, which were built from the ground up, to leverage cloud computing. It is different to build from scratch for cloud than it is to migrate to cloud.
Sandy may actually help the solid, built for cloud companies sell more services, since the factors for companies moving to cloud services have not changed.
Edited by Brooke Neuman