While corporate IT is spending more on infrastructure than development, cloud providers are racing ahead. "A server on an array does not generate business value. It's the software that runs on it," says Paquet. Not every enterprise environment, application, or business process needs to be rapid, add Paquet, but for systems that can transform or grow the business, it's worth investigating.
3. Settle for cheap and good enough. Cloud vendors "live in the world of good enough and cheap," says Paquet. "Better is uninteresting to them." It's no coincidence that the Googles and Amazons of the world throw CPUs at every problem they can; it's the chepeast solution out there.
And while they're at it, corporate IT leaders should stop paying top dollar, whether for computing power or storage. Sure, eBay may only pay a markup of 15% on its servers because of its buying power, but enterprise IT could get the same equipment at 20% market. Instead, "enterprise IT is buying boxes that are 50 points of margin," says Paquet.
4. Scale by design. Take a trip to a cloud provider's nearest data center and you're unlikely to see any virtualization going on. They don't need it. "Virtualization makes any one server more important," says Pquet. "Cloud computing makes any one server unimportant."
That's because a leading cloud provider would never consider adding any application to its portfolio without a clear plan for how it will scale over time. Corporate IT? Not so much. "They build infrastructure to scale out," Paquet says, "but if their applications don't, what problem have they actually solved?" Think scale first. And that may mean ruling out many packaged application. "Most of them are not built to scale out," says Paquet.
5. Hire the best. There's no question that the cloud providers are the big men on campus come recruiting time, and they take full advantage of it. "They hire the best talent, recruiting from the highest of high end universities," says Paquet. While a CIO may not be able to compete for the same pool from Berkeley or Harvard, there are some big brains in less obvious locales waiting to be tapped.