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Nov 19, 2013

Change hurts. But, it shouldn't be painful.

One of the major issues faced by organizations with respect to the adoption of cloud computing is how to change in order to be able to take advantage of all the benefits. This challenge is not insurmountable. In fact, we've overcome such challenges at least twice before, and even more often than that if you're an IT or telecom lifer.

If you're reading this, it's probably because you've purchased something online in the past few years. It wasn't always this easy to buy from Amazon or eBay and there was a time that online transactions were viewed with suspicion. Of course, that has been replaced with a wildly positive approach to e-commerce; some analysts are calling a record volume of transactions for this coming Black Friday.

What we're talking about here is the introduction of game changing business models and technologies: distributed computing; e-commerce; virtualization; security; outsourcing. Each of these has caused major upheaval among the brightest stars in business and on the Internet and organizations that have adopted these models and technologies all undergone a period of adjustment. And yet they all came through on top.

Cloud computing is no different. It's one of those things that scare companies because of the unknowns. Security almost always tops the list of concerns and barriers to adoption in surveys. Of course, security and governance is personal to an organization--there is no one-size-fits-all--which seems to intimidate potential adopters. Early adopters are learning that security is manageable and is improving steadily (rapidly) much as security improved in the early days of the web and e-commerce.

And, regardless of what the top dog in IT is called--CIO, CTO, VP, CEO--management is facing these same challenges today when it comes to adapting the organization to a new way of consuming IT resources. Eventually, if not already, this will become a competitive advantage; the flexibility and agility afforded by cloud computing will make leaner and meaner competitors. As with all competitive advantages, though, organizations that make the move earlier will reap the greatest benefits.