Startup Rules of the Road

Before you start your next business, you should consider a few of my own tenets that I have gleaned from working with numerous startup companies
over the years. There is so much more to a business than the actual day-to-day operations, and finding the right combination of ideas, skills, and people will help you
create the best small business. Take a look at the following rules of the road:

  • First, it is so often said that you have to find your passion. It might sound cliche, but it is very true. If you are going to suffer the long hours and the many frustrations of starting your own business, you need to have something that is going to power you through the darkest times. If you come up with a business idea that doesn’t get your groove on, drop it and think of something else.
  • Identify the narrowest niche you can and fill it completely. It doesn’t really matter what you do. What matters is what everyone else isn’t doing, and how you can complement or fill in the gaps. The narrower the niche, the better. It helps if you can explain your niche in a short sound bite too, because that is what you are going to be doing a lot of. And don’t be afraid to change to a new niche when the market shifts or as you get better at understanding what your customers need, too. You aren’t going to be running MegaCorp (at least, not yet), so being flexible is key.
  • Understand your own limitations and use them to decide on the nature of the business you wish to create. For years I have had a one-person freelance writing business — not because I am anti-social, but because that is my preferred work style. You need to think through the implications of your ideas and understand what you are getting yourself into with the particular business you have in mind. One friend of mine designed her freelance business around a small staff, because that was what she was comfortable with. Different strokes….
  • Building a website isn’t the same thing as building a business. While is certainly is the case that many businesses are going to have
    some kind of online presence, they just begin with the website.
  • If you aren’t technical, find someone who can help and treat them well. Make that: treat them extra well. When I built my first website back in the early days, I hired a kid all of 19 years of age. Now I would hire even younger: they have the skills, and they work cheaply. But sometimes you want to partner with someone with more maturity, and realize when that is needed.
  • Pick domain names, corporate names, and other names to match and be easy to speak and remember. This is so important. There is a site called KnowEm.com that can help you figure out if your chosen name is available on hundreds of social networks, and even search the US Patent and Trademark Database. This is a good place to start. See the screen shot below.

  • Don’t forget about email newsletter marketing. Email isn’t the flashiest mode of communication, but it is still a very powerful tool that can help spread your word and get you customers. One friend of mine built up his business big time with a weekly newsletter: over a year he had more than two thousand subscribers, and a regular business. The service provider that I use for my email newsletter charges me the grand sum of less than $5 a month.
  • Speaking of monthly costs, keep your recurring costs low. It is amazing what kinds of services you can get these days for free or
    nearly so in just about everything. Look at what you can get on open source sites. You can host your own blog, set up your own domain, sign up for cloud-based accounting, and a lot more for less than $500 a year, in some cases a lot less. It used to cost me $500 just to have a server sit in a rack someplace. My friend Bruce Fryer has a site called CheapBastardStartup that has links to running his 100% virtual corporation. He suggests raising $50,000 and get a product and customers and then go after the big money once you have proven your concept. But I suggest starting with
    even less dough – say $5000 – and see how far you can run with your idea with that.
  • Finally, don’t figure on paying yourself a salary, at least initially. My wife has her own interior design business and she is glad when she clears her monthly expenses, at least for the first couple of months. Of course, you want to eventually make some money!

Good luck with your own startup, and do feel free to share other best practices that you have come across in your travels.

 

 

Cloud Roundup and Links – April 16

Is Cloud Computing a Green Giant?

Many companies have already found that cloud computing can cut their IT costs. A new report found that cloud computing has another benefit to bottom lines: reducing energy costs.

As reported on Greenbiz.com, CDW’s fourth annual Energy Efficient IT Report calls cloud computing a possible “game changer” that’s playing a growing role in energy efficiency.

For the report, CDW surveyed 760 people working in private businesses, nonprofits, schools and governments. Of these respondents, 62 percent agreed that cloud computing is an energy-efficient way to consolidate data centers.

Workers’ Tunes Sucking Up Bandwidth at Work

When Procter & Gamble shut down some access to the Internet, it wasn’t to keep employees from playing around on Facebook or crafting personal emails on company time.

Instead, it was to get them to quit sucking up the company’s Web bandwidth by listening to music and watching movies.

The company told its 129,000 employees they can no longer use music-streaming site Pandora or movie site Netflix at work.

“We are one of the more lenient companies in terms of providing access to the Internet, but there are some sites which don’t serve a specific business purpose — in this case, Netflix and Pandora,” spokesman Paul Fox said in an email, according to CNN.com. “They are both great sites, but if you want to download movies or music, do it on your own time.”

There’s a Tax for That

Responding to Vermont’s business sector uproar against a tax on cloud computing, the state legislature’s Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that would take the extraordinary step of refunding $1.9 million in sales tax revenue.

According to the bill, cloud computing is defined as the use of “pre-written software run in underlying infrastructure that is not managed or controlled by the consumer or a related company.”

Vermont already taxes the sale of pre-written software when its purchased at a store or downloaded from the Internet. And the tax department contends that cloud computing is also taxable.

 

 

How to Use Video Analytics to Improve Your Audience Response

As Web-based video becomes more prominent and more useful for businesses, the biggest issue is figuring out what resonates with your audience. You post a video and then what: how many people watch it all the way through? Should you have broken it up into shorter segments? Did you need additional details? Did people like the video and link back to it? Depending on the video site you use to share your content, you have a number of cloud-based analytic and tracking tools at your disposal.

Lots of companies are using video to spread the word on their products and engage their customers. Here are a couple of notable examples:

  • Wingsuits’s Vimeo channel shows more than 100 videos of those crazy folks that don a suit and jump off high cliffs and pretend to fly. I admit the visuals are stunning, but I sure wouldn’t want to be a customer!
  • MadMapper has more than 60 videos showcasing how their customers use their advanced projector mapping tools to create some stunning visual displays.
  • Infusionsoft has this YouTube channel with 500 subscribers and more than 120,000 views with quotes of dozens of employees about their experience using the company’s software. They also have this Vimeo channel which shows in-depth demos and longer tutorials about how to use their products.

YouTube, first and foremost

Certainly, when it comes to video, YouTube is first and foremost. More than 30 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or is it every second?

Whatever the number, YouTube still has the lion’s share of the traffic and is great for beginners. It is easy to upload a video, embed it or share it across your Web site, and collect some very basic traffic statistics too. But you get what you pay for. Here is an example of the kind of analysis that you can get from one of my more popular videos that I have on YouTube:

In addition to the overall viewership report shown above, you can review demographic information (age and gender of viewer), whether the video was played from the main YouTube Web page or a mobile device or embedded on another site, and whether your audience abandoned watching the video at some point before its end. This last point is very important in terms of feedback. The longer the video the more the audience drop-off will probably be, and this should be good ammunition to create shorter and to-the-point videos.

Wistia

There are other video hosting services besides YouTube, and one that I use frequently is from Wistia.com. They actually provide several things in one neat package:

First is its own flash embedded player that allows you to easily adjust the size of your video window to match the dimensions of your Web pages. You can easily choose the thumbnail that you want displayed when the Web page is first viewed. Wistia isn’t alone in this particular space: Kaltura for example has a popular WordPress plug-in. But adding a Wistia embed tag to a custom WordPress self-hosted site is easier and no plug-ins are required to play your videos.

It is also a video hosting and sharing site. You have up to 20 GB of storage included, with additional storage available at $2/GB/month. Included this 20 GB figure is just the size of the uploaded video files, and not any additional storage for encoding or processing.  Videos can be shared with your project team, where they can make comments (like Facebook) and downloaded, saving you the trouble of trying to send videos as email attachments. As video files can be larger than email attachment limits, this saves a lot of time and frustration.

Finally, Wistia has excellent analytics too.  Like YouTube, you can see gross viewership by day, some demographics, how they got to your video (via organic search or some other Web site). But unlike YouTube they go into lots more detail with these “heat maps” as you see below.

This is a nice service: you can see who your potential customers might be and what part of the world they live. (I’ve masked the IP addresses visible in the above screenshot.) You can also see here where each viewer stopped watching, or rewound it to see again (in red). Again, this provides valuable feedback on whether your subject is relevant to your viewers. It is also a good report to share with your management to convince them of the value of your efforts.

Wistia has three differently priced plans, starting at $79 a month. You can try it out for 15 days for free.

 

 

Why the Cloud Resonates With Consumers

Cloud ComputingMany services and technologies have come and gone over the last few decades. Some stick. Others have to pack it in for numerous reasons. Right now, it seems cloud computing is on an upward trajectory and shows no evidence of letting up. While the technology enabling the cloud is what drives its success, many factors have to go just right for a service to experience this type of buzz.So far, cloud computing has hit the right notes and is enjoying its moment in the spotlight. Here are just a few reasons why the cloud has consumer appeal.

The Name

What sounds more appealing? Software as a service (Saas), utility computing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or the cloud? Referring to this technology simply as “the cloud” took it from the depths of some server rack in the back of an IT department and placed it front-and-center for both consumers and IT staff. “The cloud” is more accessible and more colorful than “utility computing.” Without the moniker, who knows if cloud computing would have been given the chance to reach its potential.

And who, you ask, coined the phrase “cloud computing?” That depends on where you direct the question. There are references to the cloud going back to 1997 when a trademark application for the term cropped up (the trademark attempt was later abandoned). It was a term mentioned in The New York Times in 2001, described as a “cloud of computers.”

In August 2006, Google’s Eric Schmidt described its approach to SaaS as cloud computing. It seems this was the first mainstream use of the term as its currently understood.

According to author John M. Willis, “I think this was the first high profile usage of the term, where not just ‘cloud’ but ‘cloud computing’ was used to refer to SaaS, and since it was in the context of Google, the term picked up the PaaS/IaaS connotations associated with the Google way of managing data centers and infrastructure.

“Much like ‘Web 2.0,’ cloud computing was a collection of related concepts that people recognized, but didn’t really have a good descriptor for, a definition in search of a term, you could say. When Schmidt used it in 2006 to describe their own stuff and then Amazon included the word ‘cloud’ in EC2 when it was launched a few weeks later, the term became mainstream.”

The Freedom

A big key to cloud computing adoption is that it has achieved an ease of use that anyone with an email address and credit card can start to see what the fuss is about. Free, limited accounts with simple sign-ups have gotten many people comfortable enough that they’re willing to try out paid, full-service accounts.

And there is a sense of freedom at being able to get stuff done without having to physically be at a work station or in the home office. This ability can be very liberating, especially when you’re on the road and need to access something important. The cloud allows you to go about your life and work in a streamlined manner, and if an emergency arises where you need specific information immediately, the cloud has you covered.

The References

The cloud already has worked its way into pop culture. On FX, a comedy called “The League” features a group of friends who participate in an NFL fantasy football league. “The League” is probably not a show that you’d want to watch with children or grandma because a.) it’s on FX, b.) double entendres galore and c.) common decency. But it’s well-written, topical and, in my opinion, super funny.

One of the characters named Taco, a slacker who’s not quite with it, waxes philosophic on the cloud during a conversation with characters Ruxin and Kevin.

Ruxin: “Are you baked all the time?”

Taco: “Oh, not this baked! I just wish I could walk around in a cloud of it all day long. ‘To the cloud!”

Kevin: “All right… you realize that that’s just a cloud of data pushing itself wirelessly through different devices?”

Taco: [snorts] “Now who sounds baked?”

 

 

Mozy and Enterprise – Ready for Each Other

This week, Mozy announced a renewed commitment to the MozyEnterprise service and for many that begs, the question, “Why now?”

MozyEnterprise

Over the past few years, the Mozy Enterprise Backup Solution product has enjoyed many successes and endured some bruises, and we’re proud and excited to go public with the fact that the software (the Mozy business) and the business (Enterprise customers worldwide) are finally ready for each other.  Here are the main reasons:

  1. Mozy’s enterprise cloud backup solution has enjoyed years of hardening and testing.  It may not be perfect (cause claiming perfection is a sure fire way to anger the software gods) but it’s pretty dang great.
  2. Businesses, even very large businesses, are accepting cloud solutions as enterprise-ready and really great choices for their IT needs.  We no longer have to sell enterprises on the power of the cloud – the cloud has proven itself.
  3. Enterprises are seeing the complexity of their backup and file accessibility needs explode – from remote workforces to Bring Your Own Device policies, IT no longer maintains strict control over the places and devices where people need access to their data, and enterprise cloud backup (specifically MozyEnterprise!) is well-suited to the needs of a diverse workforce.

We are very excited to re-introduce MozyEnterprise to the world of large business backup software and can’t wait to revolutionize the enterprise with the best backup and data access solution out there.

To learn more about MozyPro and MozyEnterprise and the difference between the two, make sure to watch Mozy Product Managers Jamie Morningstar and Todd Esplin discuss the differences between each offering.

 

Cloud Link Roundup – April 9

Google’s Online Art Project Now Includes the White House

Google announced a significant expansion of its Google Art Project, adding artwork from the White House and museums around the globe. Powering the Google Art project are Google’s Web services and cloud computing infrastructure.

Google’s Art Project now includes the White House galleries and notable international museums such as the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, India and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

“Since we introduced the Art Project last year, curators, artists and viewers from all over the globe have offered exciting ideas about how to enhance the experience of collecting, sharing and discovering art. Institutions worldwide asked to join the project, urging us to increase the diversity of artworks displayed,” Google said in a blog post. “We listened.”

What Cloud Computing Really Means

Cloud computing is all the rage.

“It’s become the phrase du jour,” said Gartner senior analyst Ben Pring. The problem, according to InfoWorld, is that everyone seems to have a different definition of cloud computing.

Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing as an updated version of utility computing: virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go broad, arguing anything you consume outside the firewall is “in the cloud,” including conventional outsourcing, according to InfoWorld.

InfoWorld talked to dozens of vendors, analysts and IT customers on various components of cloud computing. Here is InfoWorld’s rough breakdown of what cloud computing is all about.

Can the Cloud Revive Manufacturing?

Cloud computing could help usher in the next wave of technological innovation and, with it, provide a new engine for economic growth, according to the authors of a study on the emerging cloud computing ecosystem.

“Cloud-enhanced services” promise to take up much of the economic slack caused by the steady shift over the last several decades from manufacturing to services. Despite the loss of those U.S. manufacturing jobs, “direct linkages” persist between high value-added services and manufacturing, said John Zysman, coauthor of the cloud study and co-director of the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy.

“We contend that cloud computing is historically unique by simultaneously being an innovation ecosystem, production platform and global marketplace,” the study said.

 

 

How to Use Cloud Backup to Customize Your Android Phone

Use Online Backup to Help Root Your Android PhoneAs any self-respecting technology geek knows, it is hard to leave well enough alone. That’s why, in spite of having a constant flow of new technology that my career requires that I master, there are always those pieces of technical gadgetry that I feel I must play with.  Most recently, that gadgetry has been Android tablets and phones.

It’s not just a matter of need; sure my Nook Color eBook reader became much more useful when I rooted it, then decided a custom ROM was the only way to go, and some of the last generation Android tablets have been abandoned by the vendor in terms of upgrades, so what else is a self-respecting geek supposed to do.  They simply had to be re-ROMed and updated. But when I decided that my state-of-the-art Samsung Galaxy S II phone needed a better ROM I realized that it was just an obsession.

That didn’t stop me from doing it; I just came to terms with my addiction.

One of the most annoying parts of this particular technology addiction, is that when you want to be sure you aren’t going to screw up a device you actually need, you often need to do a complete wipe of the device before you do a ROM upgrade. Fortunately there are a number of good Android backup apps and it’s possible to do a selective restore of your device from these applications.  And if you are using modified or officially unsupported apps, you can always backup your APK files so that you can reinstall via sideloading the apps.

Less worry, cleaner updates

It used to be that this backup and restoration process would mean that you needed to make sure you could move files between your desktop PC and your Android device, so that you could recover files when you were done with your upgrade.  But the advent of cloud storage clients for your Android device has made this whole process much more flexible.

By using the cloud as the storage location for complete backups of my Android devices, as well as a repository for apk installation files, I can now just worry about making sure that I do whatever it takes to do a clean update of my devices when I play with custom ROMs and the like.  Every device has its own, up-to-date backup stored in the cloud, using my cloud storage/backup-provider app of choice.

After I update a device, I simply go onto the Android Market, reinstall my cloud storage and backup application, and I’m now ready to reconfigure the device either to a previous state I was happy with or with some version of my previous configuration, with all of the apps and data easily at hand. I don’t have to worry about finding that special apk file, or making sure that I’m connected to the network where my last full backup is stored.  Everything I need for the device to be running the apps I want with the data I need is as close as my nearest Internet connection.

 

 

Why Storage Isn’t Just For Doomsday Preppers

Disaster Preparedness With MozyOK, so maybe they’re a little bit…off. Like your cousin who presented you with a crossbow as a wedding gift.

But there’s little doubt the good folks featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers are firm believers in being prepared for the worst. Here is Nat Geo’s description of the program:

“Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.”

Here’s my take: Thank goodness they don’t live next door.

They may be extreme, and heavily armed and possess an exorbitant amount of canned peaches, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn a few things from these folks ready to go all Mad Max if necessary. These preppers undoubtedly touch on some important survival strategies that certainly apply to the cyber-worlds where many of us live.

Here are some tips, inspired by those inspired to fill fruit cellars with ammunition and 40-pound bags of cous cous, which might keep your digital life intact in the event of a natural, manmade or otherworldly disaster. You might want to mark this down on your Maya calendar.

The Upside of Backup and Virtualization

There really is no downside to backing up your data using cloud-based backup tools for your desktop and mobile devices. The same goes for virtualizing, say, your small business. Once society begins to re-establish itself after the asteroid hits, it will obviously be a big reassurance knowing that all of your Microsoft programs will be there waiting for you, courtesy of virtualization via Vmware .

The cloud has huge potential to make an impact on disaster recovery and the amount of time it takes to get back up and running.

Bug Out Bag: Don’t Leave Home Without It

Doomsday Preppers often features the Bug Out Bag, basically a bag of gear that’s ready-to-go and filled with essentials, such as food, water, first aid kit, flashlight and 12,000 rounds of armor-piercing incendiary shells.  Because you never know when those Canadian revolutionaries will want what’s yours.

But it really is a smart idea to have a disaster bag packed (say a few days before an expected weather event), and even take it one step further: Prepare a backpack with cellphone and laptop chargers and a flash drive filled with important documents, contact numbers and emergency information. Throw in some spare batteries and that old laptop collecting dust, and at least you’ve given yourself the chance to alert North Dakotans that the Canadians are coming.

News Flash: Invest in a Flash Drive

Light, secure, easy to disguise and having the potential to hold tons of information, flash drives are an easy way to ensure you have vital information at your fingertips, even as those Arctic aliens try to pry it from your cold hands.

Security!

It all comes down to security and providing you and your family with a sense of comfort and preparedness in an uncertain world.  Security from a cyber-attack or well-disguised phishing campaign. Security from those afflicted with the zombie sickness. In both cases, vigilance is key. Pay attention to where a Google search takes you before clicking on a suspect link. Pay attention to where you choose to store your photos and documents  – sometimes free storage comes with a big cost.

And, most importantly – and this cannot be overstated enough – pay attention as your neighbor’s daughter walks aimlessly, slowly and stiffly toward your compound. She is likely one of the undead.

 

 

3 Reasons the Cloud is a Killer Job Creator

Cloud Creates JobsCloud computing may be the next big job generator, according to several new studies and an analysis of job postings.

“Job creator” is a tag fitting for the technology. As more functions and processes move offsite, and more businesses look to tap into the savings brought on by cloud computing, there is a clear need to have qualified workers ushering along the process.

So here are three indicators on why the cloud, among other benefits, means jobs.

Greater Job Potential Than the Early Internet 

A new study titled “Job Growth in the Forecast: How Cloud Computing is Generating New Business Opportunities and Fueling Job Growth in the United States” showed several ways cloud computing can create new jobs. The study was sponsored by SAP and revealed cloud computing has the potential to create big business opportunities and hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S.
Additionally, venture capital investments in cloud opportunities are projected to be $30 billion in the next five years, which has the potential to add another 213,000 new jobs in the U.S.

“The study confirms that cloud computing can have a significant impact at every key growth stage of the business lifecycle – from launching a startup to expanding a business to managing a multi-national enterprise,” said Jacqueline Vanacek, vice president and cloud computing evangelist at SAP. “Business growth leads to jobs, and cloud computing will accelerate this in certain industries.”

The study goes on to say cloud computing has greater potential for employment growth than the Internet did in its early years.

More Work Than Qualified Workers

The number of job postings in the cloud computing has grown so rapidly that there aren’t enough qualified workers available to fill the posts, according to an analysis of hiring trends by Wanted Analytics.

There were about 5,000 jobs posted online related to cloud technology, a 92% increase from the same month last year and a more than four times increase compared to 2010,according to Wanted Analytics.

“With the demand for cloud skills growing so quickly, the gap between hiring demand and talent supply across the United States is getting larger and causing more difficulties in sourcing candidates,” the report said.

Most of the cloud jobs are generated from service providers, with VMware posting the most cloud jobs last month with 360, according to Wanted Analytics. Microsoft came in second, with 230, and Amazon.com, URS Corp. and Google rounded out the top five.

San Jose, Calif., is the top metropolitan market for cloud employment. More than 900 cloud postings last month were in San Jose, up 144% compared to the same month last year. Seattle, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and New York City are other booming job markets for cloud computing.

Worldwide Cloud Jobs Predicted to Hit 14 Million by 2015

IDC predicts cloud computing jobs will reach 14 million by 2015, according to a study sponsored by Microsoft.

“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” said Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”

The cloud helps companies to be more innovative by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects, the study shows.

More than one-third of cloud jobs will be in the communications and media, banking and discrete manufacturing industries.

China and India will account for half of new cloud-related jobs, according to the study.

 

 

Cloud Computing Link Round Up – April 2

OMGPOP, the gaming startup, whose Draw Something iPhone app used cloud computing and a NoSQL database to scale from zero (relatively speaking) to more than 35 million downloads in three weeks, never missed a beat.

Gigaom’s Derrick Harris discusses the impressive feat in Gigaom’s Structure blog.

“I had a brief call with Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold, whose company worked with OMGPOP to scale its implementation of the Couchbase database as demand started growing,” writes Harris.

Although the companies aren’t ready to give exact details yet, here’s what Wiederhold revealed:

  • OMGPOP is hosted in the cloud, but “they’re not on Amazon.”
  • Draw Something has been downloaded more than 35 million times. Players have created more than 1 billion pictures and are creating around 3,000 pictures per second.
  • To handle the incredible traffic spike, OMGPOP had to reconfigure its Couchbase cluster, scale it into the many tens of nodes, and many terabytes of data and increased throughout into the tens of thousands of operations per second.
  • Throughout all this, Draw Something didn’t experience any downtime.

This type of load really stresses a system, Wiederhold said, and if it wasn’t for its decision to use cloud computing and NoSQL technologies, “their game would have fallen over.”

Scalability is one of the primary calling cards for both cloud computing and NoSQL providers. Way to go, cloud.

Cloud Computing Is Here to Stay

Todd Nielsen, of Wired’s Cloudline blog, serves up some strong reasons on why cloud computing is here to stay.

Nielsen writes, “In psychoanalysis, ‘being in denial’ is a defense mechanism used by a person faced with an unpleasant situation too uncomfortable to accept or too ghastly to contemplate. The person rejects reality and insists it is not true, despite overwhelming evidence. I am constantly confronted with people in denial about the cloud.”

So Nielsen offers some cloud statistics:

  • 70 percent of businesses are either using or investigating cloud computing solutions.
  • Worldwide IT spending on cloud computing has increased more than 25 percent from 2008 to 2012.
  • Cloud providers have increased personnel from nil in 2007 to over 550,000 in 2010.

Hard to argue against these figures.

IT Needs to Take Control of the Cloud Before Storm Ensues

IT departments need to step up now and change its approach to cloud services, according to a study, “Delivering on High Cloud Expectations,” commissioned by BMC Software and conducted by Forrester Research.

This includes building trust with the lines of business, beginning to manage public cloud services, and pursuing increased automation for service provisioning and operations, according to ZDNet.

“Cloud and software as a service (SaaS) are in enterprises in a big way,” says Brian Singer, lead solutions marketing manager for BMC. “And we wanted to see how IT was dealing with them.”

For the study, researchers polled 327 enterprise infrastructure executives and architects. Among the key findings:

Today, 58 percent run mission critical workloads in unmanaged public clouds, regardless of policy. The researchers use “unmanaged” to describe clouds that are managed by the cloud operators, but not by the company buying the service.

In the next two years, 79 percent plan to run mission-critical workloads on unmanaged cloud services.

Nearly three out of four responders, 71 percent, thought that IT should be responsible for public cloud services.

Seventy two percent of CIOs believe that the business sees cloud computing as a way to circumvent IT.

Cloud Computing Attempts to Police Its Own

Wanting to provide a measure of security, cloud services organizations and companies whose daily bread is earned through trusted relationships with their clients have decided to band together and create a set of guidelines for the rest, according to Technorati.

The New Zealand Computer Society has put together a basic code of conduct for companies providing Web-based computing services, calling it CloudCode.

According to Joy Cottle, CloudCode facilitator, “The CloudCode is proactive, not prescriptive, based on what the industry is asking for both from a consumer and supplier perspective and more importantly a code of practice that is easily adopted by the providers and easily understood by the consumer.”

“A lack of understanding of the accepted definitions of cloud computing and what it entails results in a situation where services are being offered that don’t meet what are generally considered acceptable standards of practice,” said the Society.