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Cloud computing to fly?

Cloud computing simply becomes another way to fragment and further complicate an already complicated IT infrastructure unless it is done properly and the organisation moving to hosted infrastructure understands exactly what they will receive.

I see Cloud computing being excellent for the SME market where their internal IT resources may not be experts on subjects such as Exchange, Office communications server, Sharepoint etc or the SME has no expertise at all and relies on IT expertise as required from SME IT specialists.

For large companies who are likely to have experienced Windows Server administrators and who maintain very high availability figures for their customer; the benefits of hosted infrastructure are diminished.
Unless there is a cost saving, the larger the company is the better their economies of scale are already and there is more reason to keep systems inhouse with internal IT staff.
Cloud vendors have to make money and as margins tighten, their internal staff to end customer ratio drops; or the vendor offshores the support of the infrastructure, where quality may diminish to the point where the original reason for migrating to the Cloud becomes a moot point.
Once a customer is at this point, what is their return path? Which Cloud vendors are offering data export services? My experience is a vendor will not help a customer migrate from their platform (it is not in their interest to) so what do I do as the data owner?

Desktop applications as they are currently licensed and used are often not suitable for cloud computing and while a user still has a local PC or Laptop with the ability to run all the applications they require locally, the transition to cloud based apps will not be easy.
An OS license may already be consumed by the client pc and if running local applications another license for each application is required, ramping up the cost of providing an economical solution.
If history teaches anything, Citrix was the last great money saver for IT departments and its adoption was not high, many customers had small Citrix implementations inhouse for particular users and applications but very few rolled it out as it was intended – to save money on hardware refresh and desktop management as new PC’s still needed to be purchased.

Maybe a hybrid approach will prevail where a customer will purchase hosted email for example with the Outlook client published using Citrix Presentation server or Quest vWorkspace, the Outlook application never actually belongs to the end user but the full functionality of Outlook is available. Specialist Applications like or are well designed for hosted platforms not Visio or a Enterprise Discovery application.

Lastly I believe that only certain tasks are suitable for hosting, hosting a managed desktop for the majority of users I can’t see being a viable long term option unless the hardware providing the solution is provided inhouse as some hybrid hosted solutions are now doing.

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