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BLOG: The cloud is not the answer to every problem

Stuart Kippelman, CIO at Covanta Energy Corporation | April 17, 2013
Cloud may have its many benefits when applied appropriately to a business need but it is not the silver bullet to every situation.

This brings us to the topic of control.  Control in the context of cloud computing has many meanings from security and regulatory, to design and operational support - all valid criteria to help determine which solution works best.  For this post, what I mean with control is related to affecting an SLA, or an IT department's ability to directly affect the outcome of an outage.  There is little you can do when a cloud service is down, except scream and yell (go ahead if it helps you feel better).  On the other hand, if the application was running in your data center (and is on appropriately scaled infrastructure), you would have LAN, and depending on the redundancy, WAN access.  With a cloud service, you can only sit there and wait.  If your business has a need for this service to always be available, with little or no tolerance for an outage, then the cloud might not be a good choice. 

In the end, no one should care how IT has chosen to deliver the service as long as it meets the business needs.  The use of any cloud model, or internally hosted solution, should remain irrelevant to the business.  CIOs therefore, shouldn't feel obligated to rush to the cloud because it's a popular topic.  The key is to make good business decisions, and use them to help select the most appropriate technology.


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