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24Sep/100

Out in the cloud

For a long time – probably, since the beginning – the CFOs viewed IT as a necessary evil, a cost center, and when the siren song of outsourcing came along, the temptation was all but irresistible.  The common wisdom of the day was: “If I need milk – why buy a cow?” Turns out that that quality of milk depends on the how well the cow is taken care of.  When 90% savings failed to materialize they have set their collective eyesight lower: 50, 20, 10, 5 percent… Then in-sourcing began.

It turned out that while you might not be in business of IT, the IT is in your business. And that makes all the difference. As soon as you begin building custom solutions to gain some competitive advantage you need a friend in IT  who understands your business from inside out.  Not exactly what you’d trust your friendly outsourcer next door with, and it won’t have time to do it anyway.

A decade later, wizened up but still suspicious, the CFOs turned to the cloud. And this time they just might be right. The skills to be outsources are the commodity skills that do not require deep knowledge of how business operates. And what is more commodity than setting up, configuring and maintaining infrastructure? As the questions about security and reliability gets addressed, expect to see more of data centers moved into cloud. It just makes sense: a server is a server is a server. Keep them tuned and monitored.

Now, back to the business, and the custom IT projects as one of the main differentiators, deployed on the outsourced commodity infrastructure.