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Cloud Envy

Enterprise IT is a tough job for most practitioners. The demands placed by an ever expanding body of work that needs to be done is further accentuated by limited resources which are always constrained. Distractions don't help, and there are no shortage of these it seems. One of the biggest IT distractions that one is likely to witness -- and perhaps most damaging -- has been what is known as "cloud envy".

The symptoms of cloud envy are invariably the same. Folks in IT leadership become enamoured with what these web-scale companies are doing with their clouds. They may even visit with them, take the data center tour, all that. They are inevitably dazzled by the experience. Much time and effort is then lost chasing a dream that isn't right for them: wrong model, wrong motivations, wrong abilities, etc. Precious resources that could have been spent on things that really move the needle get needlessly frittered away on a fantasy that can't -- and shouldn't -- happen.

If you consider a web-scale company's cloud, all three are considerably different than the more familiar enterprise IT. Their customer-facing services are built differently, funded differently, and operated differently. It's integral to their business strategy.

The central challenge isn't simply aping what they're doing, it's figuring out your own strategy for your own business model.