Is Moldova Ready for Cloud Computing?
January 29, 2011 2 Comments
Cloud computing is now a common topic within the Moldova IT community. Whether we embrace the idea, are skeptical, or reject the idea of cloud computing, it is a topic all of us know we will need to deal with in the very near future.
Cloud computing requires education on several different levels, from the software developer to company CEO. All of us will need to have a basic understanding of not only the high-level technology of cloud computing, but also the impact cloud computing will have on organizational finances, personnel, business processes, and impact not only locally, but also our place in the international community.
Cloud Readiness Topic 1 – Cloud Training
Not much available in Moldova if you want to take an adult education course in cloud computing, virtualization, or cloud-enabled business. While there are millions of hits for cloud computing on a Google search , those of us working long hours every day and week cannot always find time to sit and take courses over the web, or do personal research over the web each day.
Nor do all of us have broadband access to the network at home, and will find it difficult to spend hours browsing cloud computing topics at your workplace.
But some good news… How many of us use GMAIL, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, or other public mail services? Most? Then we all have at least a basic exposure to the idea of cloud computing, as all of those services are based in the “cloud.”
Extend that into Google Apps or Microsoft Live Office, and you are actually learning the concepts of cloud computing – at the user level – possibly without even being aware you are already in the cloud community.
However, for business and government decision makers, IT managers, and applications developers – we will quickly need to bring ourselves up to speed on the impact cloud computing models will have on information technologies, organizations, economics, and finances supporting our business.
BOTTOM LINE 1: Cloud computing is here, and will be as important to us as individuals and organizations as the Internet was 20 years ago. Take some time and learn the basics – it won’t be too difficult, and may even inspire new ideas how this may help in your personal and professional life.
Cloud Readiness Topic 2 – Our Existing and Future IT Infrastructure
Let’s close the door and be honest with each other for a moment… A large percentage of the software used in Moldova (and to be fair, most countries) may not be licensed. It is not supported by the vendor, not up to date with security and functionality patches, and all the other pending problems that put our organizations and companies at risk.
We have little disaster recovery planning, incompatible data bases, poor file backup management, and unplanned equipment that has been added piece by piece over the years, with an IT manager who goes home at night praying the disk gods do not decide to crash a drive.
Cloud computing will give us the option of moving our risky IT infrastructure into a virtual, hosted environment. That will require us to migrate existing applications into the cloud, and (hopefully) start to “dumb” down our individual workstations. All the right reasons for moving to a cloud.
But, as institutions, we need to start preparing our existing IT environment to move to a cloud environment. Cloud Readiness preparation will mean we do not add new features, applications, or equipment that will not eventually support migration to a cloud computing platform.
A “cloud first” IT procurement and development policy, everything else approval by exception.
Yes, it will take work. Yes, it will cost money. Yes, it might require IT professionals to either learn new skills, or find new jobs.
Much like the changes we made in the 1990s when moving from FAX to Email, floppy disks to hard drives, and stand alone computers to LANs. Cloud readiness preparations will require us to think differently, much as we have needed to learn new technology and skills throughout history.
BOTTOM LINE 2: Cloud computing is here, and will impact ALL IT professionals within the next couple of years. Start preparing your organization for the inevitable move to hosted computing now – you will not regret it. Even if you do not embrace cloud computing in the near future, the exercise can only have a positive effect on your existing operations.
The Future is Staring at Us, Challenging us to Resist
There are realities we deal with every day. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west. We are born, we live, we die. Beautiful white snow eventually gets dirty, turns to slush, and melts away.
Cloud computing is in our future, and that is as certain as your children using Facebook (another cloud-based application).
We have a very small “window of opportunity” to prepare ourselves to compete and function in a cloud computing world. Let us not waste this opportunity.