Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Advantages of Cloud Computing– Part XXIX –Allows IT to Shift Focus


‘IT’ stands for ‘information technology’. One common thing all creatures share is their remarkable ability to adapt, but only if they tend to stay within their ‘comfort zones’. Think of a comfort zone as being the thermostat on your air conditioning system. In that respect, comfort zones are the ranges in which individuals are comfortable; but not everyone shares the same comfort zones. Fights over office temperature are so pervasive, many companies put locks on their thermostats to prevent employees from changing them.

If you find yourself working in an environment that is outside of your comfort zone, temperature-wise, what do you do?  If you’re not allowed to fight over the thermostat, you have no alternative but to dress accordingly. Cold-blooded animals such as snakes and lizards have no option other than to move away from an unacceptable area to an acceptable one; but humans have a much larger array of comfort zones to deal with than snakes and lizards. For instance, information technology people must adapt to the environment they work in as their environment, technology-wise, is pretty much set. They eat, live and sleep in an environment where there are few alternatives.

As a consequence of their experiences in working in this ‘IT Jail’, I have often equated IT people to cats. If you have a cat that’s become accustomed to a litter-box, what happens when you move the box to a different room? In the beginning, the cat may become so confused he will continue to go in the same spot where the litter box once sat. Cats and information technology personnel have identical problems vis-à-vis adaption. Cats don’t know any better; computer programmers should, but often refuse to cooperate. 

Software firms have a job on their hands. Cloud computing translates to a misconception of loss of control, and loss of control translates to loss of security; however, the ability to operate in multiple platforms has the potential for giving programmers and designers many more choices; but will they cooperate? Yes they will, but only after a great deal of squawking and dissent.

Traditional computing versus Cloud Computing is like being expected to play on a football field after you’ve practice proficiency in a telephone booth. In fact, the area of Cloud Computing expands infinitely, limited only by the human imagination.

The proliferation of data is a perfect example. If you could go back and recover all of the data you’ve lost, which may have seemed insignificant at the time, would you be better off? Of course you would. Why? Because, as we change our thinking, information that seemed superfluous in the past becomes of great, critical importance in the future.

When you operate in an environment where ‘limited resources’ is a forgotten term, it makes you think differently, plan differently, and operate differently. Choices that are not possible at the time, rarely figure into future plans.

Some of our customers have data dating back twelve years. Try to find some of your data that dates back to 1999 and see if it’s still accessible within your current system. Chances are, many revisions have been made to your system since then, and the data, if it exists at all, is unusable or meaningless.

I can remember the time when because of the cost of additional storage, there was not enough room to store more than one month’s detail; several programs to do the job of one, because of the limited memory space. Ten years ago, Cloud Computing put an end to these restrictions and allowed us to go beyond the boundaries of ordinary thinking. Ergo, many falsely assume we cannot do the things we say, because they have nothing to relate it too, and that indeed, is a crippling environment to have to work in.

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