The 10-point cloud FAQ

I have a confession to make. I’ve parked cloud as fancy hosting and not really delved into the detail.

But suddenly I was put on the spot at an analyst briefing and realised I had to get my act together and get up to speed. So recently I’ve taken a deep dive and am now convinced that this is as fundamental an inflexion point as the move to the PC and the advent of client-server architectures. 

So if like me, you’ve bluffed so far and now feel embarrassed to ask some of the basics, here are the 10 things, I think you really need to know.

Even if you think you have a fairly good handle on what cloud services are, it's a good bet that some of your line-of-business colleagues don't and this article may be a useful and straightforward guide to post to them.

If you’ve got any other questions, please feel free to ask them by adding a comment.

1 What is a a good definition of cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources such as networks, servers, storage, applications and services that can be rapidly provided and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Fundamental characteristics are


 - On-demand self-service
 - Accessed via internet
 - Always available
 - Rapid elasticity 
 - Paid by use
 - Measured service
2 What will the impact be on my IT organisation?
The most obvious reason is cost-effectiveness: cloud cuts the need for capital intensive IT as it enables technology to be bought as a service, where you only pay for what you use. 

But when you begin to look closer the most interesting factor is agility.

In IT we’ve been so ingrained into this serial, process-centric culture based on governance, purchasing and supply chain. 

But why do we have to do it that way? Start thinking more in terms of a shared pool of infrastructure instead of I-own-this-and-you-own-that.

In business everything has a cycle. There isn’t a business process that runs 200 percent every single minute every single day. 

Understanding the cycle of business and being able to adapt to it is the beauty of the transformational model of cloud computing.