I think that this is going to be the biggest year yet for cloud computing. A lot of the startup’s have been acquired and the market is ripe for something new but familiar. The only problem is that we are organizationally rushing into this without a strong foundation. When I say strong foundation, I really mean high level governance. I am involved in efforts that are deeply root in service orientation. Short history clear shows that technically we are ahead of our policy, standards and guidance. I kind of reminds me of when someone comes out with a new drug that is perfectly legal until it is discovered by some authority.
I guess cloud computing is like spice (hehe). Look here is what I am saying, cloud concepts are appealing for a lot of reasons but we need to be careful for a number of reasons. The more data you put out into a cloud, the more your risk increases with respect to securing that data. Cloud computing can be secure but this security requires a significant effort in planning.
The federal government is ready to move into the cloud, but they haven’t even moved to virtualization as planned. They haven’t mastered service orientation, and they haven’t written doctrine to support these technologies as required. I have seen plenty of government dollars go to waste on concepts ill-defined.
There is nothing wrong with leveraging new technologies. There is nothing wrong with looking at new concepts and coming up with new ideas. There is nothing wrong with experimentation on these ideas. All of these things need to happen by a process and practice. Today we rush so quickly into technologies that we mistakenly invest all of our eggs into the new basket. It costs money. What we aren’t doing is weighing the benefits from the costs.
Back to my first point, this year will be a big year for cloud computing. I think people like Thomas Erl and other SOA leaders will move full steam into this space. There will be a cloud manifesto and organizations dedicated to the cloud and groups creating cloud types and taxonomies and lexicons and ontological cloud linkages. All that is great and will generate buzz and lots of cash. My question is, if you put everything in the cloud and you have no understanding of what that means, what will you have when you are standing on the ground looking up? I don’t know, just something to think about.