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CIO Jury: Cloud under a cloud with IT heads

Cost cutting will only take you so far...

Cloud computing has been given a definite thumbs down by silicon.com's CIO Jury.

Following exclusive silicon.com research that found IT leaders voting cloud computing the most over-hyped technology of the year, the CIO Jury was asked whether cloud computing is part of their IT strategy to cut costs.

The jury came back with a 'no' majority of 10 to two.

Alistair Behenna, CIO at Harvey Nash, is one of the two CIOs using the cloud to cut costs.

"Given the current economic massacre we are all engaged in, it has to be a viable strand in any IT strategy fabric," he said. "[The cloud is] certainly not the whole solution but it is undeniably useful for specific areas of the infrastructure and service delivery."

Peter Pedersen, CTO of Figleaves.com, said cloud computing is part of his strategy for now, but it is subject to ongoing review.

"We are looking closely at where the cost/benefits really are, especially as suppliers of soft/hardware become more open for cost discussions during the downturn," he said.

However, most CIOs are yet to embrace the cloud, for a number of reasons. For David Supple, head of IT at Ecotec Research & Consulting, security remains an issue.

"The security questions are still far too unresolved for us to have confidence in it, and for us to pass the confidence on to our public sector clients," he said.

Despite the comprehensive 'no' vote, some CIOs expect that the cloud will indeed play a part in their future tech plans.

Ben Acheson, IT manager of PADS Printing and Commercial Stationery, believes cloud computing will become part of his strategy once the wrinkles have been ironed out.

"It needs to become more sophisticated, more secure and more reliable. Above all it needs to be tried and tested before it will catch on. In the meantime I'm keeping my eye on the technology because in my view it represents the future," he said.

For Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director at Hachette Filipacchi, no tech should be dismissed out of hand.

"If you are assessing solutions on their merits, there is no need to rule anything out of being provided from the cloud, as long as you are happy that you will not be let down by circumstances beyond your control," he said.

"Practically every technology that is sold is over-hyped. It's part of the job of a CIO/IT director to ask the insightful questions and sort the wheat from the chaff."

This CIO Jury was:

  • Ben Acheson, IT manager, PADS Printing and Commercial Stationery
  • Mark Beattie, head of information technology, London Waste
  • Alistair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
  • Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director, Hachette Filipacchi (UK)
  • Chris Broad, head of information systems and technology, UKAEA
  • Pete Crowe, IT director, Fat Face
  • Madhushan Gokool, IT manager, Storm Model Management
  • Steve Gediking, head of IT and facilities, Independent Police Complaints Commission
  • Paul Haley, director of information technology, University of Aberdeen
  • Peter Pedersen, chief technology officer, Figleaves.com
  • Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
  • David R Supple, head of IT, Ecotec Research & Consulting

Want to be part of silicon.com's CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of silicon.com's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at editorial@silicon.com

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