The Benefits and Risks of Cloud Platforms: A Guide for Business Leaders
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Most often, business leaders--people like CEOs or marketing VPs--don't much care what platforms their developers adopt. While they might have biases for or against a particular vendor, the pros and cons of, say, .NET vs. Spring are of limited interest. This makes sense, since making these fudamentally technical decisions isn't their job.
This isn't true for cloud platforms, however. Moving applications and (especially) data into the public cloud brings new kinds of benefits and risks to an organization. Accordingly, the decision to adopt a cloud platform needs to have buy-in from business leaders, not just people in the IT organization. For example, deciding how much risk to bear is fundamentally a business decision. IT leaders can help their business counterparts understand cloud risks, but they shouldn't make the choice on their own.
To help business leaders understand the benefits and risks of cloud platforms, I've written a short paper (available here
) that examines this topic. The paper is sponsored by Microsoft, so examples tend to use the Windows Azure platform. Still, the main topics aren't specific to Microsoft or the Azure world--they're relevant for any business leader trying to understand this new world. The paper's goal is to help this audience make better decisions about using cloud platforms.