Wednesday, 6 January 2010
IT utility is a widespread misconception. Whenever we name utility, we think of our own utility: gas, water and electricity
We cement those into the walls, floors and ceilings of our house, and feel perfectly happy about that. Why?
Because they're boringly static products. Water nor gas nor electricity have changed in the last 50 years nor are they going to change in the coming 50 years. Redefining the meaning of static. And boring.
But, we don't have TV's, ovens or microwaves coming out of the wall. Nor phones, PC's, lamps, etcetera. Only the stuff that feeds them.
Now, over to IT utility. The more boring the IT, the better you can "Cloud It Out". Infra comes to mind,
storage, disks, security protocols, connectivity. You do know the IP protocol was written in 1981, right? And hasn't changed since? Well there's IP6 along the way of course, and the very reason why that's been around for 5 years already, and is not being picked up at all, is that it is, indeed, IT Utility.
IT utility is never going to get past the infra level: network, storage, security, all boringly static stuff, far far away from the user. The user is close to the business, the business is dynamic, so forget it, don't even think about it!
So, can you Cloud ERP? Heck no, you just spent zillions on consultancy tailormaking that for your company. CRM? Maybe if you sell apples. HR then? Sure, if you didn't tailormake that too. But usually, that's just utterly boring stuff, perfect for SAP-ing or Clouding: standardised
So, that's why Salesforce is where it's at. At the edges of static, about to trip over the dynamics. They were tempted, and fell for it, and made their first mistake. And a big one it is: they reinvented and built in stuff like Chatter in stead of plugging already existing social networks into their own app: they IT Utilised a very dynamic piece of business, viz. social networking. They're leading now, but it will cause them to significantly trail in the years to come
It's all about business rules versus business exceptions. We're moving from one to the other, thus actually moving away from Cloudability
Governments? Always leading the way in the new business rules world; which at that point are exceptions, of course
When to Cloud? If it's static. And not dynamic (saying the same there on purpose).
Is it boring? Toss it in the Cloud if that will make you save money on it.
Is it large and can it be automatically provisioned? Toss it in the Cloud if that will make you save money on it.
Is it new and a try-out or pilot? Toss it in the Cloud and demo away at will, perfect business case for that kind of stuff
Is it anything else? Think about twice. And again. And again
Last but not least: don't inhouse or decloud what should be Clouded. It will cost you money, flexibility and marketshare. Salesforce.com...