Cloud computing is simply the consolidation and abstraction of previous disparate computing infrastructure. In the past computing infrastructure and servers for web applications, web sites, databases, and more had to be purchased and managed in an in-house data center. This places a heavy burden the upfront cost of IT projects. Cloud computing changes this and puts the control back in the hands of creative innovators.
- Cost surprises
- Implementation complexity
- Staff disruption
Cloud computing was initially pioneered by internet retailing giant Amazon.com. In 2006 they started selling spare computing cycles in their data-centers with the launch of Amazon Web Services. This innovation has allowed start-ups to rapidly prototype and deploy ideas to the web by essentially renting computing time in a cloud provider’s data-center. By only paying for what is needed new ideas and products could be quickly scaled if successful or abandoned if not. Managers may leverage iterative operational feedback without the upfront investment in costly IT infrastructure. Economies of scale is leverage on the energy consumption and sustainability front. As usage changes resources may be elastically scaled based on need. Applications based in India may use the same infrastructure used in America while the later sleeps, and vice versa.
There are many advantages to cloud computing, but it is no panacea. The overall complexity of an IT system needs to be taken into account before a decision is made to move it up to a cloud provider. Depending on the industry regulations may need to be considered with respect to IT infrastructure. To save money it’s important to ensure that you have done a complete total cost comparison. Cloud computing is not always cheaper. Consideration of in-house IT staff resources should be considered to avoid stress related to redundancies. An incremental or piece-meal migration strategy may be the best option for most to avoid costly implementation mistakes. Leveraging a competent IT department is the key to success when formulating and implementing a cloud strategy. Tread carefully and wisely to succeed.
Woo hoo! The semester is over! A professor asked me once what I learned in MIST 7500. This is an interesting question for me. I came into the Master of Internet Technology program with over a decade of experience in internet technology. I didn’t expect to learn a lot and I was disappointed. It turns out I actually did learn a lot, not about technology though, rather about how technology is applied and used in business. I learned these lessons from the professor and a few guest speakers sprinkled throughout the semester. I found that this was the key insight that I didn’t know I needed.
The application of internet technology in business was the focus of the first several classes. We learned about the The Business Model Canvas, SWOT analysis, and Porter’s 5 Forces Model, among others. These abstractions of business serve to simplify and focus what an organization is all about providing managers and stakeholders with a framework to make decisions. Applying these analytic methods to my work has enabled me to focus my limited time and effort to the most effective part of the problems I am presented with.
The most notable guest speaker in my view was Colleen Jones. Her focus is content strategy, a nascent specialty that leverages analytic methods and scientific research to determine the most effective strategy to leverage web content to achieve an organization’s goals. In the 90s and 00s the focus of web strategy was simply to have a presence on the web. Recently though innovation has abstracted many of the technological hurdles away clearing the way for Colleen and her analytical methods. With her book Clout: the Art and Science of Influential Web Content (reviewed here on this blog) and her consultancy Content Science she has become one of the foremost thought leaders in Content Strategy.
Another speaker I thought was interesting was Jason Lannen who discussed auditing and controls in IT. Working in the government this hit close to home. Almost everything I deal with on daily basis has to do with some level of auditing and controls. Hearing how this is handled in the private sector provided me with insights enabling me to contrast my experience with his. This made me a lot less frustrated with many of the challenges I face at work.
All in all, I feel a lot less full of crap.
There are a lot of new elements in HTML5 and it may be confusing what tags are included, added, or removed and what they are for. A coworker today found the Periodic Table of the Elements from Josh Duck. I like it because it groups the major elements making them easier to conceptualize. Each element contains a concise summary of the purpose of the tags and the colors are keys to the following categories:
- Root elements
- Metadata and scripting
- Embedding content
- Text-level semantics (Web 3.0, here we come)
- Grouping Content
- Document sections
- Tabular data
- Interactive elements
Josh Duck is an Australian LAMP developer working in London. Nice work!
This reading has set me on the mission to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the version incremented standard (with no space). These standards have been shaped by the market forces that make up the governing body of the World Wide Web known as the W3C. The market reality of these corporations have shaped and guided the development of industry standards for years1. These corporations are responsible for developing software, lower-level coding standards, and training to build webpages, mobile apps, and other software and hardware that interfacing the public with the World Wide Web.
These standards are the bedrock of the what some term “Web 3.0” or “The Semantic Web”. On this bedrock developers are creating the platforms and applications enabling humanity to consume information that influences society. I will be discussing this in the coming weeks, months, and years as developers write code taking advantage of HTML5. All you have to do sit back, grab a frosty beverage and tune in after the break.
1 World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)