Cloudy Days Ahead?
Some ten years ago, Jeanne Ross, the now-retired MIT researcher and co-author of several seminal EA-books, coined the acronym SMACIT to describe the key technologies of digital businesses: social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and Internet of Things. Adding AI to the mix, those technologies are still today key to digital business strategies and practices in most enterprises.
Cloud is perhaps the dominating technology area, on which many of the other technologies are completely dependent. Some would argue that it has become the de facto delivery mode for digital business solutions, and more and more “off-the-shelf” solutions are available only as cloud solutions. Yet, we are still seeing major legal issues playing a role, especially in government, restricting the use of public solutions.
The ”cloudification” of everything of course also means that more and more digital solutions are marketed as cloud solutions, even if they really shouldn’t. Simple web-based solutions running on one server in one datacenter is often marketed as such, watering down the meaning of cloud.
At the same time, the mantra “cloud first” is becoming the strategy of choice more and more places. So much so that even facing the legal challenges, the digital business strategy enforces “cloud ready” as the guiding principle. Whatever that means that is. Sometimes it means microservices and containers, sometimes it means something else.
Enterprise architects must take a leading role in defining and developing cloud-appropriate strategies, architectures, and governance. There is a lot of communication work to be done here, in demystifying the technology, in downplaying the revolutionary “magic” promised by many vendors, and in understanding the new cost landscapes offered by it.
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