Taking a page from the ferocious honey badger ... the enterprise kicks some ...
Earlier in the year, you might have been lead to believe that the enterprise had gone dormant. What with the Facebook, Zynga, LinkedIn, et al IPOs, and the focus on the consumer, it would have appeared that the enterprise could only get a seat at the kid's table. Then, along comes Dreamforce from the self-proclaimed enterprise cloud computing company with a stunning 90,000 attendees, followed up by Openworld with a not-too-shabby second place of over 50,000 attendees, to remind us that the enterprise is truly the honey badger of the technology ecosystem.So now that we’ve restored the enterprise to its rightful place as the scrappy, menacing animal able to come back from being bitten by even a cobra, where will it be going? What better proof that the community on Sandhill Road (the VC’s) are no longer taking a look at enterprise software companies with a 10 foot pole.One might think that a move to the cloud en masse, is the direction we are all heading. It has, after all, made its mark, indelibly, on the landscape of every company big to small. Yet the enterprise has not fully embraced or completely understood its place in the larger IT strategy. The cloud certainly provides a variety of critical capabilities, from mobile enablement, to remote storage, to collaboration, to application hosting, and somehow, enterprises, and their IT departments remain hesitant.Perhaps it’s because for all the good it brings, the cloud can’t fulfill one of our most fundamental needs, the desire to retain "control," to enjoy the benefits of a new technology, without being threatened by it. IT departments have furnished their companies with databases and software, information structure and organization, and what becomes quickly evident is, while they might want to update their look, they’ll always need to own at least some of it. So the cloud is simply not enough, and what that means is, enterprises will need to look at their house and understand where they can leverage the cloud for what it does best, and not look at it as a replacement.Which brings us to the key questions the enterprise will need to address over the next 6-12 months. What will my infrastructure look like? How can I leverage the cloud as a part of that infrastructure? What pieces of my infrastructure can I functionally outsource, and which must I maintain in-house?Leading enterprises through these series of questions will be the biggest challenge for the cloud and infrastructure companies today, they being startups or established companies. It will be no easy task, that’s for sure. Each company will need to weigh the balance of capital vs. operational expenditures, the movement of control to outside vendors vs. maintaining things in-house, the ability to manage massive amounts of data (growing daily), the management of a mobile workforce, the ability to expand and contract offices and people as needed, and most importantly, the performance tradeoffs of each vendor, in their own right, and as part of a larger infrastructure ecosystem.Lead the charge enterprise and like the honey badger, be resilient and let nothing get in your way.*The post originally appeared in Computerworld. Click here for the original article
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