CTO Guide To The Business of Cloud Computing

This is the CTOvision guide on the megatrend of Cloud Computing. This report gives a high level overview of the most important factors of the trend, gives updated insights into the activities of the major Cloud Computing companies, and succinct descriptions of Cloud tech. It also points to key CTOvision reporting to help readers dive deeper into the topic.

What Is Cloud Computing?

We succinctly describe Cloud Computing as the scalable delivery of computational resources. Models of cloud compute include public clouds, private clouds and blends in between. Architectures are in place now that leverage tiers of clouds that can exist in multiple sizes and locations, including homes, businesses and datacenters.

Key Observations:

  • Although it can cost additional resources to embark on a cloud transition effort, in most cases after initial outlays there are significant cost savings. Commercial Cloud Computing providers are know widely known for their revising costs down and we see that trend continuing.
  • A new consensus is forming regarding security and cloud capabilities. Well engineered clouds can be far more secure than the typical Internet connected enterprise. A favored technique for enhancing enterprise security in a way that supports cloud computing models is a Software Defined Perimeter (SDP).
  • Agility of the Cloud Computing model is helping innovators innovate and developers develop, and in many cases this is the greatest benefit of the approach. Agility in service to mission and business needs is far more important than cost savings.
  • New forms of Cloud Computing include ultra-small data centers which can function as internal clouds. Versatile small form-factor data centers can be bought in containers and put anywhere.
  • Cloud plus IoT = Fog Computing, an architecture of multiple collaborative end compute devices. The term Fog Computing might never take off the way Cloud Computing will, but consider the new model regardless of what you call it.
  • Interesting observation: Over the last decade it seems the edge was moving to the datacenter then the cloud. Now the cloud is moving to the edge. It is doing so by devices like Amazon’s Snowball Edge, which brings the power of EC2 compute to remote locations.
  • Amazon can be rightly credited with kicking off the current wave of business focused cloud computing with Jeff Bezo’s Risky Bet.

Open questions decision-makers should track include:

  • Will the big cloud providers be monopolies?
  • Will the future Internet be “walled gardens?
  • How will nations settle data retention disputes?
  • How do we move compute across tiers?
  • How do we transition from legacy compute to new cloud models?
  • How can we reduce the ability of adversaries to use cloud computing capabilities?

Due Diligence Assessments and Cloud Computing

The trend of Cloud Computing is an increasingly important element of corporate Due Diligence since it is so disruptive business models.

  • On the sell side: Firms should ensure their use of cloud services is done securely and that mitigation strategies are in place for issues. Doing this before sale can make a big difference in how well a firm will be valued.
  • On the buy side: Buyers should pay particular attention to the use of cloud services to ensure a well thought out architecture that mitigates risks. External and independent verification and validation of security policies and practices should include a review of the cloud architecture, as well as the degree that the target is complying with appropriate compliance regimes.

Strategically, the acquisition of technology firms is an art requiring assessment of how unique the capability is and how much in demand it will be in the market. We provide due diligence consulting via our parent company, OODA LLC.

And additional resources:

Cloud Computing Companies in the CTOvision Disruptive Technologies Directory

There are seven key megatrends driving the future of enterprise IT. You can remember them all with the mnemonic acronym CAMBRIC, which stands for Cloud ComputingArtificial IntelligenceMobilityBig DataRoboticsInternet of ThingsCyberSecurity.