My article for Blog Idol contest: Cloudcamp 2. Cloud Computing: Return on Investment

This is another session from Cloudcamp that was held in Toronto on April 6, 2010. (Find the article about the first session, with links to the CloudCamp sound files and some presentations, here.) The session was facilitated by Dave Nielsen and discussed the ROI of cloud computing. The following questions were raised:

What is cloud computing anyway?

How do we measure the ROI of migration to the cloud?

What’s the cost of intangible benefits?

When does it make sense for a startup to use the cloud?

Not all of them got answered but some certainly did, and the answers given were very interesting.

(Note: I did not catch the names of all the people who answered questions, so if one of them is you, please let me know so I can acknowledge it properly! – Tania)

Dave Nielsen: I’ve been saying, “Here’s what I think cloud computing is,” over and over and over again and it’s changed a little bit every time, but actually hasn’t changed much at all in the last like 10 times I’ve done it. But it still could. I’m hoping to get to the 80/20 rule where I come up with 20 percent of what is the main thing of cloud computing and 80 percent of the people agree. But basically, here it is: so you know, you guys know the triangle, the pyramid, cloud computing, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, right? Right here. This is a very, very simple, like over-simplified definition of cloud computing, types of cloud computing.

So Infrastructure as a Service is really providing a service to IT folks. And Platform as a Service is really providing a service to developers where they can put their code. And then Software as a Service is providing a service to business users who don’t want to have to set up anything, don’t want to have to install software on their desktop, right? That was basically the three types of cloud computing but if you don’t know who you’re talking to and they ask you what cloud computing is and you don’t know what type of person they are, or you simply ask yourself, what do all these things have in common, it turns out they really have, in my opinion, three +1 things in common. And the first one is super obvious. What do you think that is?

(Read more at BlogIdol website…)

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