Managing the cloud

How can CIOs ensure the cloud gives them an advantage rather than puts them at a disadvantage?

When it comes to managing technology resources in a cost effective manner, is the cloud actually more of a hindrance than a hand?

Going on-demand is commonly perceived as a way for CIOs to increase flexibility and scalability in response to changing business needs. If you're buying infrastructure- or software-as-a-service, you can simply go to your provider and buy a little bit more when requirements change.

But a CIO I spoke to recently suggested the cloud actually encourages bad practice. His argument was that workers who have a limited amount of resources know they have to work efficiently. Give people the opportunity to scale-up on-demand and they will start to become slack.

It's an interesting theory. It certainly starts to make sense when you think about your personal use of computing. If your smart phone has a tight data budget, you're much more likely to be careful about downloading data than if you have an unlimited allowance.

The CIO who prefers tight constraints recognises most humans are a little bit lazy and greedy. Give people an opportunity to take more than an inch and they'll probably take a mile. Give your workers fixed computing resources and they can only take an inch.

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