By: Joe Kinsella, Founder & CTO, CloudHealth Technologies
As we start 2016, cloud computing is becoming increasingly critical to the success of our Massachusetts innovation economy. Whether you are moving infrastructure from a co-location facility to Amazon, migrating to Office 365, or operating a hybrid cloud, cloud computing has certainly become strategic to the success of you and your organization. The reasons driving the cloud are generally well understood today: increased agility, consumption-based pricing, access to global infrastructure, outsourced management, and the ability to reduce operational costs. However, I believe the single greatest benefit of the cloud is the innovation it has enabled.
As the founder of the Boston-based, fast-growing SaaS startup, CloudHealth Technologies, I started my business with nothing more than a laptop and the cloud. While today our SaaS service is backed by highly-complex and globally-distributed infrastructure, this system was built incrementally as I grew my business. During my first month, I spent $11 with Amazon Web Services (AWS). At month six, I was spending $63 to operate my service, which by then had several large-paying customers. The ability to free myself from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing low-level infrastructure allowed me to focus on the single most important activity to an entrepreneur: innovating on behalf of my customers.
Today, there are still many challenges to be confronted in the cloud. Some of these include:
- Complexity - The cloud today is moving at an incredibly fast pace. Each year, quarter and month, it continues to evolve at a rate rarely seen in any other industry. We must find ways to contain the “cloud sprawl” and harness its power for our businesses.
- Governance - We must identify new process models and technologies to provide the agility we demand of the cloud while maintaining proper governance required by our organizations.
- Security - While the cloud is generally acknowledged to be more secure than private data centers, it has introduced new risks and complexities that must be carefully understood and managed.
- Costs - While the highly efficient use of the cloud can enable smart growth, controlling costs as you grow requires continuous vigilance. The most common cause of “cloud dropouts” is uncontrolled costs.
- Vendor lock-in - We are becoming increasingly dependent on the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS services we adopt. Businesses need to chart smart strategies for where they need vendor independence, and where they are willing to accept lock in.
- Hybrid cloud - Unless you are a cloud-native business, you will likely have to live with a messy hybrid future that includes multiple clouds, data centers and supporting products / technologies. While the available options for managing this are improving, it requires a carefully defined strategy.
As the Massachusetts Technology Council (MassTLC) pulls us together next week for When, Where and How to Go to the Cloud: Sharing Best Practices amongst Peers, it is a great time for us to do what we do best: grow our innovation economy through open collaboration and sharing. I look forward to hearing from our great guests, including Dave Krupinski, CTO & co-founder of Care.com, Stefan Piesche, CTO at Constant Contact, Cathy Bilotta, Strategic Director at Raytheon, and Jeff Lamoreaux, CIO at Global Partners.
See you all on the 26th!
About Joe Kinsella
Joe is CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, one of the fastest growing companies in the emerging Cloud Service Management field. Joe is focused on helping organizations realize the full potential of the cloud, without having to sacrifice cost, performance, availability, or service level. With 20+ years of experience delivering software for companies of all sizes, Joe sees CloudHealth bringing the cloud to the enterprise by enabling the next generation of IT service management for the cloud.