Cloud Computing without the hype; an executive guide

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Executives are constantly faced with new initiatives from the IT world, bombarded by vendors, media and even their own internal teams with the latest buzz-words and IT innovations. In the face of this onslaught it can be really hard to sort out the wheat from the chaff, particularly since the IT market has a nasty habit of seizing on every new idea and trying to paint it as the latest ‘must have’ concept.

Cloud Computing is the most recent in a long series of confusing new initiatives to emerge. Suddenly, everyone is talking about ‘The Cloud’, and banner headlines are trumpeting the fantastic savings / improved agility / better IT business alignment being offered. Executives find themselves struggling to know what to do, under pressure from myriad vendor claims and with a growing feeling of unease that somehow their companies may be missing out. The problem is that the IT industry is never very good at defining its latest terms, and for people without the time to get thoroughly immersed in the subject, or the persistence to cut through the hype, it can be almost impossible to make any sort of informed decision.

This paper is designed to clarify some of this confusion, not at an in-depth technical level but from 50,000 feet – or 10,000 at least. The idea is to help the beleaguered executive get a reasonable grounding in Cloud Computing and its concepts, in order to support more accurate decision making and the optimal corporate IT strategy. A number of the main acronyms and terms will be covered, together with the main Cloud Computing operational models, and the Appendix provides a quick summary of some of the many vendors now playing in this marketplace. In the end analysis, there does appear to be something of value for most companies in Cloud. However, the key is to get enough understanding of the various flavours of Cloud and the different benefits promised by each in order for individual organizations to identify their best fits.

Description

Defining Cloud Computing and identifying the current players

This document offers a high-level summary of Cloud Computing, targeted at Executives who find themselves bombarded with Cloud Computing and need to cut through the hype to get a clear understanding of what cloud is all about. Cloud is defined in simple terms and the main categories of cloud are identified. A high level segmentation of the cloud marketplace is also offered, and includes a reasonably comprehensive index of suppliers in the Cloud Computing marketplace and the Cloud segments in which they operate

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