Is cloud computing creating the next dotcom bomb?

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It seems like everyone is talking about cloud computing these days. You can’t open a tech publication without seeing multiple stories on cloud and its applications.  Companies everywhere are jumping on the bandwagon—attaching the cloud name to their existing products and services in an attempt to capitalize on the cloud phenomenon. 

Some of these companies have a legitimate cloud-related offering—they’re either creating their own cloud platform or writing in API’s to tap into the services of other cloud providers.  But others are simply using the cloud name in an attempt to capitalize on all the hype.  How do you tell the difference?  And what happens if you do business with one of these “cloudy” providers? 

How quickly we forget about the dotcom explosion within our sector years ago and the effect it had on the economy and SMB space.  One example comes to mind from a previous employer of mine.  They were a very large hosting provider who went the cheaper, “better,” faster route for their virtualized switching within their data centers. 

The company who beat out Juniper and Cisco was indeed bleeding edge and extremely ahead of the curve.  Only problem was they went under, and with that so did their stellar support organization, patching, and our ability to adhere to our SLA’s.  The moral of the story is companies need to be extremely cautious with their vendor selections especially as it pertains to outsourcing. 
 
I know today’s financial conditions and pressures have every business and individual cutting expenses.  However, outsourcing your business “on the cheap” is not always better.  Just be wary of whom your talking to in the space and their validity as a provider and business.
Here are five questions to ask when evaluating cloud providers: 

  1. How long have you been in the outsourcing space?
  2. Where is my data and infrastructure being housed?
  3. Who are your partners and investors?
  4. What other services do you offer outside of cloud?
  5. What is your existing client base?

In summary don’t just jump out into the clouds without a parachute.  Do your due diligence and be wary of a cloud you can’t see into.