May 22, 2012, 12:00 AM — Cloud computing may be the biggest thing ever to hit IT, but not for good solid technical reasons, and not because it gives IT the chance to show it really does know what their companies really need from technology to make the business shine.
Unfortunately, it's finance, not technology driving the market for and implementations of cloud. It is also business units, not IT, that is driving adoption of cloud and the drastic changes to which IT is more observer than driving force.
IT economic expert Howard Rubin writes that both consumerization and cloud computing recently hit periods of rocket-powered growth due to "Jevon's Paradox:" " Technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource."
The success of Salesforce and Gmail bred Microsoft's Office 365, Evernote, Dropbox, a thousand other SaaS providers as well as the launch of cloud-based rent-a-data-center services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft's Azure, cloud-based platform services from Rackspace, TerreMark, 3Tera and other companies with years of experience offering high-quality co-location, hosting or outsourcing services that expanded their businesses by offering cloud as well.
Only 20 percent of businesses have completed any significant cloud migrations, according to a Symantec study of 5,300 IT executives that was released in October.
A February, 2012 survey of 100 corporate financial decision-makers found 68 percent of large companies are already building out some form of cloud-computing capability, whether that meant SaaS services from outside or adding cloud-based IT management capabilities in-house.
Not only has cloud changed the economics of IT, it has changed both the culture and the politics.
The positive shift in cost/benefit ratio of a service the company can add or drop at will without having to buy or maintain the servers to run it made CFOs the biggest fans of external cloud offerings such as SaaS, , according to Forrester analyst James Staten.