Heads in the Cloud

By  Sean Poccia — December 20, 2010

The cloud: the final digital frontier. A technological plateau of infinite possibilities where all of our applications can live in peace and harmony, ready for instantaneous broadcast to users across the globe. The cloud promises to reduce costs and increase efficiency. The cloud offers agility, scalability, performance, and programmatic elasticity that exceed the traditional model of excellence we have all spent years building, nurturing, and promoting from within our own organizations.
Pause for a moment and consider the staggering impact that cloud computing platforms could have for organizations and end users now and in the future. Essentially we are being led down a path of partially self-induced enlightenment that clearly conveys one very poignant concept: forget everything we have ever known, put aside all the years of experience, and place our trust in the cloud!
It goes without saying that most of us have been humbled as we have navigated the icy waters of change within our organizations. As I am both a champion and highly spirited defender of cloud offerings and services, I can speak firsthand to the challenges of promoting the cloud to peers and executives alike.
The cold harsh reality of cloud platforms, whether we want to admit it or not, is that most organizations cannot achieve the level of agility, sustainable centers of excellence, or continuous improvement models that top tier cloud providers establish as the cornerstone, period! After all, cloud providers' entire existence is based on executing these quintessential operational pieces better, faster, and cheaper than we can internally. The business model is sound, the mantra is powerful, and people are listening.
As more companies grapple with the formidable demands of mobility, the dynamics involved with the creation, deployment, and lifecycle management of applications is the perfect fit for going cloud. The expectations of today's workforce combined with the need for businesses to sustain mobile relevancy and continue to create competitive advantages in the mobile market space will leave IT leaders no choice. We will need to seek out alternatives to reduce time-to-market of applications and drive continuous improvement without the strain, anxiety, and costs associated with infrastructure and ever-evolving development platforms.
The incredible growth of the mobile user community will inherently change the way technology leaders have traditionally managed portfolios. For SMBs and enterprises alike, the adoption of platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, and software as a service will provide vast operational improvements for managing mobility within their respective businesses. The technology leaders who successfully fuse the old and new and enthusiastically embrace the benefits of mobile cloud offerings will certainly position their organizations to be vertical leaders.
As a seasoned technology veteran, the notion of cloud means a lot more to me than solving technology or business challenges. The cloud represents a rare opportunity to rapidly transform the internal workings of an IT organization.
We can cautiously forego the traditional IT staffing model and allow our technologists to play a bigger part of the business. To work side-by-side with the business stakeholders, spending less time managing infrastructure, servers, monitoring WAN performance and more time becoming subject matter experts on the business. For resilient believers in the cloud, the yields will be rich and the early adopters will be handsomely rewarded as visionaries for their companies. 
Sean Poccia is senior director of information services, Comag Marketing Group, LLC, and a member of the Mobile Enterprise magazine Editorial Advisory Board. 


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