Recently I sat down with several of the colleagues and we were discussing the idea of cloud computing. Without going into details of what cloud computing is, let’s think about what they imply for a moment. In all previous incarnations of computing services, those services were extremely durable. Infrastructures, departments, organizations and other trappings of IT as a corporate function arose as yet another department within a corporation with a specific task. Cloud computing on the other hand, looks at things in a more ephemeral way relative to the relationships. In a cloud world, we’re encouraged to make relationships more casually, in the sense that the significant investment in infrastructure and organization is eliminated or minimized. This provides great flexibility, but it also accentuates a new perspective – we don’t have to stick to services that no longer meet our needs, because our sunk cost is negligible. This creates a brand new paradigm of ad hoc computing relationships, based on current and future value rather than past performance. It allows us to adapt and adopt quickly, but more important, it allows us to shed the past without extensive heart ache. As a corollary, the governance and coordination aspects of the cloud call for a new role – the cloud broker, who helps organizations establish, maintain and conclude relationships.
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