With Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN)'s EC2, Google (NSDQ: GOOG)'s AppEngine, and now Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Azure, cloud computing looks a lot less like some catch-all concept in the distance and more like a very real architecture that your data center has a good chance of being connected to in the near future.
If that happens, more than the technology must change. The IT organization, and how IT works with business units, must adapt as well, or companies won't get all they want from cloud computing. Putting part of the IT workload into the cloud will require some different management approaches, and different IT skills, from what's grown up in the traditional data center.
These include strategy questions, such as deciding which workloads should be exported to the cloud, which set of standards you want followed for your cloud computing, and how you'll resolve the knotty issues of privacy and security as things move out to the cloud. And there's a big question of how, and how quickly, business units get new IT resources. Should they help themselves, or should IT remain a gatekeeper?
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