Today’s article is about logic.  And where better to start than with our childhood?  As a kid, our logic has not yet been shaped by all types of rules.  For example, an adult would not answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with “A motorcycle riding cowboy that paints houses!” 

Sometimes, because of the lack of bounds put on a child’s logic, they come up with amazing thoughts.  Paula Poundstone says that the reason parents are always asking their kids what they want to be when they grow up, is because the parents are looking for ideas. 

As kids grow, caring for others begins to be added to the logic of satisfying immediate needs.  When I came home one night to see my son eating a cookie, I reminded him that he was not supposed to eat snacks before dinner.  He responded with, “Well Sarah (his sister) ate one first!”  So I gave the standard parent response of “If Sarah jumped off of a bridge, would you?”  His answer was not what I expected, “Well of course, I would have to save her!”

At this point in his life, we had done a fair amount of canoeing.  Bridges went over rivers, he knew how to swim, and he looked out for his sister.  Based on his knowledge so far, his response made perfect sense.  

As we go through school logic starts to follow the “Everybody else is doing it” motto.  We need to wear a certain brand of jeans and join in certain activities in order to fit in with the group we want to be like.

Part of this logic follows us into the business world.  We read the technical journals and business articles to see what everyone else is doing.  Not only does this stop us from making mistakes that others have already discovered, but it helps us learn best practices and take advantage of new ways of doing things.  The logic as adults is slightly different than teenagers in that now we start to not only understand the “how” of what everyone else is doing, but also the “why”.  That way we can make sure that what others are doing makes sense for our situation.

So when we notice that all of the business articles are still telling us we have to be on “The Cloud”, we as business people want to understand the why.  We are not just going to get “The Cloud” because everyone else we know has it.  

The following is a list of three characteristics of “why” it might make sense to move to “The Cloud” based on how you use your computers.

  • Constantly Changing Demand – an advantage of using cloud resources is that you are not stuck with the equipment you purchase.  If you have your own equipment, the number of users you can support is based on the equipment you own.  Buy more equipment than you need and it is wasted.  Do not buy powerful enough equipment and your systems are either too slow or just plain fail.  In the cloud you can use as many machines as you need, adding more capacity (often in seconds) only as you need it.  If your computing needs are fairly steady, then these advantages do not help you.
  • Distributed Users – If your users are spread all over the country or even the globe, moving your applications to a cloud service can instantly make them available everywhere that your cloud provider has data centers.  The costs are drastically reduced over trying to replicate something similar yourself.  If your users are in a single location, cloud deployment may not provide the best return on investment.
  • Distributed Workload – If your application can run better by spreading the work over many machines, the ability to quickly add more machines as required makes the cloud an ideal place to run your application.  If the design of your system relies on a single database that can only handle more users and transactions by using a more powerful machine, you may not get the results you hope for in the cloud.

Understanding the “why” is as important as the “how” when determining which technologies will best help our businesses to succeed.  Don’t be the one that wanted to be like, or maybe even a little better than everyone else.  Don’t be the one that thought if one cloud is good, more clouds are better.  It’s thinking like that that can lead to “A Storm”.

– as previously published in The Business News