An article from InfoWorld has a great take on adopting the cloud, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. In fact, much of Information Age Management :: The Technology Appendix deals with Software as a Service and other aspects of the cloud.
Those of you who have read my book know that I am a believer in the “strong sysAdmin” approach to IT. I believe that an IT infrastructure without an agile, competent, creative, and empowered sysadmin is like a captain without a ship. Further, many companies put so many decisions in the hands of ineffective managers (ie – managers who have not adopted Information Age Management) that they hamstring their technical staff and cause no end to problems. (Note: Get my book to learn how to avoid this pitfall.)
In today’s article, Paul Venezia makes the point wonderfully:
You might be eager to relinquish responsibility of a cranky infrastructure component and push the headaches to a cloud vendor, but in reality you aren’t doing that at all. Instead, you’re adding another avenue for the blame to follow. The end result of a catastrophic failure or data loss event is exactly the same whether you own the service or contract it out. The difference is you can’t do anything about it directly. You jump out of the plane and hope that whoever packed your parachute knew what he or she was doing.
The cloud can be wonderful but hosting your infrastructure off-site is not a solution in-and-of itself. It may give you indemnification in case of failure but worrying about indemnification is a wimp’s game. You want your infrastructure to work and the only way to make that happen is to have excellent technical people with the power to control your infrastructure.
In my book, Information Age Managment, I explain how to properly choose a cloud vendor and how you, as a manager, should handle them. I also explain how to find and keep excellent systems administrators and helpdesk staff, so you will have the skills on-site to deal with problems as they arrive.
You can get the book at Amazon.com or BN.com.