The State of the Cloud 2012

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

A lot has happened in the world of cloud computing since I started following its progress in 2009. Virtually every person and business has some data hanging around in the clouds these days (no pun intended…well, maybe a little). Consumers are currently the cloud’s biggest customers given the tidal wave of smartphones and tablets. And there is little doubt that someday, cloud computing will be the norm for business. But in the immortal words of The Lord of the Rings’ Aragorn, “Not this day.”

There are lots of reasons that CIOs are reluctant to move their mission-critical business applications to the cloud, not the least of which is fear. Security fears, loss of control fears, down-time fears, portability fears and more haunt CIOs as they contemplate a commitment to the cloud. Imagine having all your enterprise data in the cloud and then, out of thin air, there is no access. Now imagine trying to explain to your CEO that there is nothing you can do to get back up and running, that you fate is now in the hands of your “trusted” cloud provider.

Or imagine your cloud provider is servicing hundreds of companies--enough to attract serious hackers and cyber-terrorists--only to find out that critical and confidential data has been stolen. Again, there you are, helpless and useless in the eyes of your CEO.

Uncertainty, fear and …

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