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IT Needs to Leverage Cloud, Not Oppose it

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I'm guessing that the scenario spelled out in this excellent story over at CIO.com is pretty commonplace in enterprise IT circles: Someone wants to know how to show that internal storage services are cheaper than cloud.

The bottom line? It probably isn't, and never will be for the foreseeable future. As author Bernard Golden notes, too many IT organizations still don't approach the budgeting question correctly, instead assuming that home-grown solutions are cheaper and then go in search of some tool that will prove their premise. Here's a telling passage from the piece:

"Note that he [the IT person in question] didn't ask, 'How can I understand my cost versus a cloud provider?' " Golden writes. "Rather, he asked, 'How can I show that our storage is less expensive than AWS?' "

There may be isolated cases where the reverse is true, but in general I believe in the emerging axiom that says no enterprise is ever going to be able to beat big concerns like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft when it comes to providing bulk services like online storage or straight compute power. The economics of those giant data centers are just too hard to beat.

So why try? Why not throw the switch and embrace and leverage cloud services, instead of trying to stick with the old purchase-and-provision model? As Golden asks:

"IT is now confronting a world in which its long-established role as sole supplier is no longer plausible or even appropriate. Faced with this new world of increasing demand and alternative sources of supply, how should IT respond?"

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