By Paul Lidbetter, Microsoft Enterprise Architect

If you follow enterprise IT you will have heard a great deal about the latest hot trend — cloud computing. Hailed as a genuine breakthrough in achieving business alignment, supporters say the Cloud provides accelerated projects, reduced risk, resource elasticity, lower capital expenditure and financial uncertainty, reduced administration and staffing, and lower power and space requirements.

However, until a recent report called ‘The Economics of the Cloud’ few have been willing to put their names to identifying hard numbers for prospective benefits. That paper went a long way to nailing down the possible savings to be made in the journey to the Cloud but what it lacked was detail of what is happening at the sharp end among pioneers deploying IT systems in the Cloud.

This article by a writer from Microsoft’s Enterprise Strategy consulting practice summarizes the economics paper but adds details of the challenges faced by those who are moving elements of IT to the Cloud, including the complexity of measuring current and future IT performance, cultural issues, the issue of connectivity in some regions, and how to plan and time a phased move to a new way of provisioning effective IT capabilities to meet demand cycles.

Read the "Economics of the Cloud" article>