There’s a disconnect between the revolution in cloud computing and business practices. As usual, it stems from silos and a lack of communication.
Cloud computing is often positioned as an IT cost savings vehicle. The cost increases of more hardware, complexity and administration have eclipsed the savings from commoditization, so the cloud and virtualization were supposed to solve this problem.
But virtualization has only made modest economic gains; the reduced friction with virtualization deployment has been largely offset by an explosion of server instances along with the costs that accompany them.
The real value of the cloud and virtualization is not the infrastructure savings, but in the new business models that it creates. Companies such as Amazon and Netflix have shown the way.
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) enables these business models, but sometimes its value gets lost because it is relegated to the role what it can save the IT department.
Vendors are basically selling IaaS wrong.
“Vendors that produce business software tend to market and sell it as a technology rather than as a business solution,” complained app developer Mark Eisenberg in a recent blog post.
“Non-technical executives do not want to have technology conversations,” he noted, so they “delegate these conversations to IT teams. In an ideal world, IT would be able to send that back over the wall, but we do not live in an ideal world.”
By making the conversation about IT instead of business models, however, the real use of IaaS is largely lost.
“This leaves the cloud vendors who naturally gravitate to IT to figure out how to communicate the value of the cloud in terms that make sense to their true audience. And the language they speak is infrastructure, which neither represents the business value of cloud computing nor directly affects the business of the company,” he added.
Infrastructure enables the software that leads to business transformation. Vendors need to focus on this true value and the role IaaS plays. If the cloud is just positioned as a cost-savings vehicle for IT, the value proposition is far less and the ability to leverage the technology is greatly reduced.
Executives need to think more about the cloud and what IaaS can provide. But that means moving the conversation away from IT. The audience doesn’t care about the tech, it cares about the solution it represents.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson