Clouds by Ari Helminen“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”
(Opening lines from A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)
As organizations consider their Technology plans for the next 2-5 years, they may feel a Dickensian ambivalence. There is much to be excited about, but there is also a great deal of confusion and apprehension. There are good choices to be made, but there are also bad choices…and it is not often clear which is which. The world is our oyster, and yet there is no solution that quite meets our needs.
As many tech writers and thinkers have noted, we are in the midst of one of the most disruptive periods for information technology (IT) since the dawn of the personal computer in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, many believe that the current transformation in IT is even more disruptive, more game-changing and life-altering for organizations.
There are numerous forces behind this disruption (more than can be covered in a single blog post), but two that stand out in my mind are fast, ubiquitous Internet access (whether in the form of 100Mbps Cable Internet, or emerging 4G broadband wireless) and small, powerful Lithium battery technology. The combination of advances in these two technologies in the past decade have established a framework for highly distributed computing.
Fast Internet + Small Batteries = Access to Information stored Anywhere, from Anywhere
You can now get to your information, whether it is email, documents, notes, pictures, videos, from almost anywhere at any time…which means you can store it almost anywhere…which means you can store it…EVERYWHERE. Hence… “the Cloud”.
This is essentially the Cloud in a nutshell. And the Cloud is a crowded emerging market. If you have dipped into the world of the Cloud you’ve likely been hit with a barrage of concepts (PaaS, SaaS), vendors (Google, MS, Amazon, Rackspace, SalesForce, Box, DropBox, SugarSync, and so many more), and solutions (Google Apps, Office 365, Azure, etc.) It’s a lot to keep up with, and yet most organizations have a nagging feeling that if they are not on top of it, they are going to quickly fall behind.
In this blog series, we attempt to share some of our experiences at CITI with exploring the “Cloud” as a possible solution to our Information Technology (IT) needs. We spent 2011 testing Google Apps as a possible solution, and now, in 2012, we are going to fire up Office 365 and take it for a spin. As we make our way through using Office 365 this year, we’ll be posting our experiences and sharing thoughts and recommendations…so stay tuned!
Next week, “Going Google”.