A Quick Start Guide to Cloud Computing
Moving your Business into the Cloud
By Dr Mark I Williams (Kogan Page)

In many respects, cloud computing speaks the business language of the CEO and CFO: they pay out money for services that are not the speciality of the organisation, but which it requires to operate on a day-to-day basis.

To that end some see cloud computing as a threat to the CIO, but I have not met a CIO cowering under his desk in fear of the cloud; they enjoy its business benefits too.

A Quick Start Guide to Cloud Computing gives a brisk introduction to the technology and more importantly to the business issues surrounding the cloud, but with so many C-level execs clued up on technology already may well find this read a little too light.

Author Dr Mark I Williams promises a concise language that removes the industry hype that has darkened cloud computing from its inception. That said he does use the terms ‘elastic’ and ‘scalable’ a great deal, which are lifted straight from the marketing of the cloud computing industry.

Williams’ assessment of the risks that cloud computing can pose to your organisation is too light on detail, and I can’t see even a medium-sized organisation or government agency not being aware of these risks and having some experience of countering them and planning for them.

What organisations do fear are the unique risks that cloud computing strategies pose to their organisation, but Dr Williams offers little to prepare the management team for such risks.

A chapter of case studies also fails to deliver the deep insight organisations need when considering cloud. It is a collection of interesting organisations, including Alliance Boots, The Guardian and the Open University, but a quick web search pointed me to the same information, and didn’t set me back £10.

In all, this book confirms much of what most senior managers already know, rather than being the insightful guide they really need.