But, I'm part of the 1% that does care. I care because the word "Cloud Computing" has created enough buzz that everyone wants one [but don't really know what they want] and believe it's going to allow them to save money, be more "agile", and be the savvy IT business guru they always wanted to be.
It's important to understand the answer. If you throw your hat in the wrong ring, it could take you years to recover - if you do [from a career standpoint]. And if you're the top IT guy at a company and start doing a "rip-n-replace" on anything "not cloud" - what happens if Cloud turns out to be another ASP technology?
So to clarify, the following is pretty standard for someone talking about Cloud...
Cloud computing promises to cut operational and capital costs and, more importantly, let IT departments focus on strategic projects instead of keeping the datacenter running.
WOW - what a mouthful! Let's make it bit easier - Cloud Computing promises so cut cost and let the IT folks do tech stuff that supports the business. In other words, IT people should be helping run the business, not making sure the computer is running. OK, I get that - and to have a bunch of people sitting around waiting for something to break is not very efficient. But I guess some IT organizations run that way.
So, if you have one person doing the work and 14 people standing around watching him - then does it really matter if you move to the cloud? You need to do something - cloud is a good as anything - then you can get rid of yourself and the 14 people and promote the one guy that actually works.
But, in the real world - definitions like the one above don't really help anyone. So, in an effort to help out, here's my stab [and not original at all] at two things - the definition and the benefit for Cloud Computing Services...
- Definition: Utility-like service, based upon an easy to understand billing and usage system. I get billed for what I use and nothing else.
- Benefit: I never consumer more than I need of the service, but also puts the responsibility on me to monitor my use [not the service provider].
Now, in my definition, there two basic assumptions about a Cloud Computing Service (1) that there will be enough of the service available [computing power, storage, bandwidth, whatever] so that the service is always available when I [the consumer] need it to be available AND (2) that the service provider gets paid for taking on the risk of provide "enough" which means if you leave the "lights on" but don't really need them on, you still pay.
What this does is create a situation where IT people have to think about how they use computing resources - rather than just buy a server and use it - they have to think through how to best use these resources, making informed decisions, and then implementing them.
[still writing and thinking - more later]