Much of the “cloud revolution” is overdone, and the facts are that “the cloud” has been around for several years, if not decades. Essentially, cloud computing is a fancy term for putting your data or applications outside the “walls” of your company and its technology infrastructure. You could easily call it outsourcing, timesharing or any other currently gauche term, but I guess clouds sound sexy at the moment.
Transitioning an application to a cloud model should come down to the decidedly un-sexy process of a cost-benefit analysis. The joy of cloud computing, or any outsourcing model, is that you no longer have to worry about maintaining boxes, wires and code in-house. Some of the big costs are security, support and reliability. Just as you would thoroughly vet any other provider of outsourced services, companies looking to the clouds would be wise to look at the maturity, reliability and contingency planning in place at a potential cloud provider, being careful to do full due diligence rather than getting starry-eyed in order to jump on the next tech-driven buzzword bandwagon. Your customers will likely have little patience when you tell them their confidential data is now plastered all over the web, but it was hosted on a really cool, cloud-based Web 3.0 platform!