The Cloud Defined, Part 8 of 8: Services Not Applications

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This is the conclusion to my series of articles where I share my interpretation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s special publication 800-145. This week I share my thoughts on how cloud computing will change the roles of IT professionals.

The biggest shift that this new era of cloud computing brings to the world of IT is that IT professionals will now transition from analyzing systems to analyzing how best to deliver services. Speeds and feeds are no longer the nature of this business. The speed of a CPU is less of a concern in comparison to how many CPU cores are currently available in the pool that is drawn from by competing applications. The concern of how much memory is being used is giving way to the concern of how quickly can the right amount of memory be provisioned. “It is fast enough.” or “It has enough capacity.” are statements that described the concerns of IT prior to cloud computing. Now the statements have shifted to “It is the right size for our needs.”, “It is just as fast as we need it to be.”, and “It will decrease or increase in accordance with our needs.”

That is what happens when you shift from maintaining the infrastructure obtained by your business to tailoring the infrastructure to fit your business properly. That is the kind of infrastructure that the NIST definition of cloud computing describes. The static systems of the past can no longer deliver the right solution, because the applications that those systems were designed to support no longer exist.

IT now delivers services that require dynamic infrastructures instead of standalone servers (or even standalone VMs). Are you ready to deliver such an infrastructure? If not, get ready to do so! Otherwise you have no future in IT, and that is a dark cloud hanging over your head that has nothing to do with technology.

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