Today is cost model day. I'm in the process of writing a manuscript that aligns Cloud computing with existing internal control and security models that we know and love, and helps us to identify those elements of cloud computing that introduce truly new control risks and vulnerabilities. And one of the critical tools we seem to lack is a fungible, usable cost model that can be used to evaluate an investment in Cloud Computing up-front, and further, can be used to evaluate whether on-going investment in Cloud is returning value to the business in lines with expectations.
The RAD lab at Berkeley has put forth some straight-forward computations that regard IT as a compute utility and compare costs on that basis in the February paper Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of IT Computing [p.12]. This needs to be expanded with costs and anticipated benefits associated with various use cases, and to create a template to enable both SMEs and Large Enterprises to evaluate whether the Cloud investment is worth a plunge, or just a "toe dip". From what I've found so far, most of the published case studies and use cases are based on one-off-major-cost-savings-couldn't- have-done-it-any-other-way feats of heroism compared to the mundane, can-this-technology-help-me-improve-my-proprietary-business-model-and-is-it-worth-the-investment?
If you've got a great story about how cloud computing is used and the cost/benefit equation to quantify that benefit, I'd love to hear about it!
So, that's my Sunday... my goal is to make your IT simple[r].
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