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Deadline: 20/03/2009

Cloud Computing: IT's Day in the Sun?

Call for Papers
Cutter IT Journal
San Murugesan, Guest Editor
Abstract Due: 6 March 2009
Articles Due: 17 April 2009

CLOUD COMPUTING: IT's Day in the Sun?

Cloud computing is a hot topic now. It is an emerging computational model in which applications, data and computing resources are provided as a service to users -- individuals and businesses -- through the Internet (the so-called "cloud"). It promises to offer utility-like availability of huge computing resources at low cost, higher flexibility and better scalability. So, is cloud computing poised for the next major evolution/revolution and a paradigm shift in IT?
The most common answer is "maybe" or "yes".

Many analysts, noticing users' comfort with accessing applications on the Web and their acute discomfort with the expense of maintaining their own IT infrastructures, have come to believe that advances in virtualization and other technologies will push cloud computing to mainstream adoption. To others, however, the future of cloud computing is questionable, or at the very least, uncertain for now. 

According to The Economist, however, The rise of the cloud is more than just another platform shift that gets geeks excited. It will undoubtedly transform the information technology (IT) industry, but it will also profoundly change the way people work and companies operate. It will allow digital technology to penetrate every nook and cranny of the economy and of society, creating some tricky political problems along the way." [1]

Proponents of cloud computing maintain, "We consider cloud computing to be the model that can fundamentally change the current IT market structure and create paradigm shifts." [2] "Cloud computing is fundamentally about re-engineering the world's computing infrastructure, to enable game-changing -- even life-changing -- applications." [3]

As cloud computing now begins to move from the fringe to the mainstream, there is considerable excitement and hype surrounding the movement. A key question is: what real value does cloud computing present to users and businesses, and are we taking a risk by computing in a cloud for enterprise and personal applications? While the value may be obvious to some, there are several issues associated with cloud computing -- which range from the technical (e.g., security) to the moral and legal -- that cause varying degrees of concern among stakeholders. These concerns limit the potential of cloud computing and hinder its adoption.

Nevertheless, it seems cloud computing is here to stay. According to some estimates, multibillion- dollar opportunities might be there for the taking in the emerging cloud computing market. For instance, the Merrill Lynch study finds cloud computing as a $160-billion market opportunity, including $95-billion in business and productivity applications, and another $65-billion in online advertising. Some even warn that IT companies that do not adopt the paradigm shift into cloud computing in time would eventually be left out.

Corporations and venture capitalists are eagerly investing in promising cloud computing technologies and services. Major IT companies, startups and consultancies are all trying to get a slice of the seemingly vast business potential that cloud computing offers. Several IT companies have begun developing and deploying cloud computing platforms and tools. IT departments in many enterprises are now being asked, or soon might be asked, to explore how their organizations can embrace cloud computing and deploy and monitor applications on a cloud.

Therefore, IT and non-IT businesses, IT professionals, business executives, and entrepreneurs shouldn't dismiss cloud computing; instead, they should examine and explore how they can exploit cloud computing and seize the opportunities this latest model of computing presents.

Many IT professionals and business executives, however, are not clear or are confused about cloud computing and its benefits, strengths, weaknesses, and risks.

To demystify the seemingly cloudy, confusing, or even conflicting scenario cloud computing presents, the June 2009 issue of Cutter IT Journal will explore this new style of computing. We will examine cloud computing in terms of strategic approaches, concerns, challenges, compliance requirements, technological options, market opportunities, and the value and impact cloud computing will have in the real world now and in the future.

TOPICS OF INTEREST MAY INCLUDE (but are not limited to) the following:
* Will cloud computing be another transforming concept and technology that profoundly affects computing as we know it today? Or is it just hype trying to corner a new market?
* What real value does computing in clouds provide? Why does this new model of computing draw so much interest not only from users and businesses, but also from governments?
* How is cloud computing currently being used in personal, business and social applications?
What is its real potential? What have we learned so far from our experience with cloud computing? What are the success factors?
* What are the key issues and challenges we face in embracing cloud computing and how can we address them?
* What opportunities do cloud computing present to IT (and non-IT) businesses, IT developers, and individuals, and how can we exploit those opportunities? Can cloud computing give rise to an entirely new set of applications?
* What are the ongoing developments in this area? What are appropriate IT architectures for cloud computing?
* How can the performance of an application that runs on a cloud be monitored or improved?
* What cloud computing development strategy would you follow? How can you test and evaluate a cloud computing application before deployment?
* Is cloud computing viable for enterprise applications? At what cost? How compelling are the economics of centralized computing utilities compared to a well run enterprise data center?
* What types of clouds -- application platforms or frameworks -- will prove popular in a marketplace?
* How dominant will "private clouds" (behind the firewall) become within an enterprise, and for which sort of enterprises and for what sort of applications?
* Given that enterprises as well as individuals demand guaranteed quality of service, higher reliability, and continued availability, how dependable is a cloud application?
* Do we trust the clouds? What if a cloud crashes or hackers take it down? Or, what if a cloud vendor goes bankrupt and closes its cloud offerings without notice?
* How will regulatory rules evolve and compliance requirements be met with cloud computing?
* What level of service should we demand -- and expect -- from cloud computing vendors? How do we set SLAs for cloud computing applications?
* How do we charge for the services offered? What are the billing models? Which model is best suited for a given application?
* Cloud computing as new paradigm calls for a new style of IT management. How could enterprises manage their cloud computing applications? What are the implications for enterprise departments and IT staff? What are the best practices for moving our current applications to a cloud?
* How will cloud computing shape the future of IT, the IT industry, business, and society?

Please respond to the Guest Editor, Professor San Murugesan at san1[at]internode[dot]net, with a copy to itjournal[at]cutter[dot]com, by 6 March 2009. Include an extended abstract and a short article outline showing major discussion points.

Accepted articles are due by 17 April 2009.

Most Cutter IT Journal articles are approximately 2,500-3,500 words long, plus whatever graphics are appropriate. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact CITJ's Group Publisher, Christine Generali, at cgenerali[at]cutter[dot]com or the Guest Editor, San Murugesan at san1[at]internode[dot]net. Editorial guidelines are available at http://www.cutter.com/content-and-analysis/journals-and-reports/cutter-it-journal/edguide.html.

Typical readers of Cutter IT Journal range from CIOs and vice presidents of software organizations to IT managers, directors, project leaders, and very senior technical staff. Most work in fairly large organizations: Fortune 500 IT shops, large computer vendors (IBM, HP, etc.), and government agencies. 48% of our readership is outside of the US (15% from Canada, 14% Europe, 5% Australia/NZ, 14% elsewhere). Please avoid introductory-level, tutorial coverage of a topic. Assume you're writing for someone who has been in the industry for 10 to 20 years, is very busy, and very impatient. Assume he or she will be asking, "What's the point? What do I do with this information?" Apply the "So what?" test to everything you write.

We are pleased to offer Journal authors a year's complimentary subscription and 10 copies of the issue in which they are published. In addition, we occasionally pull excerpts, along with the author's bio, to include in our weekly Cutter Edge e-mail bulletin, which reaches another 8,000 readers. We'd also be pleased to quote you, or passages from your article, in Cutter press releases.

If you plan to be speaking at industry conferences, we can arrange to make copies of your article or the entire issue available for attendees of those speaking engagements -- furthering your own promotional efforts.

No other journal brings together so many cutting-edge thinkers, and lets them speak so bluntly and frankly. We strive to maintain the Journal's reputation as the Harvard Business Review of IT." Our goal is to present well-grounded opinion (based on real, accountable experiences), research, and animated debate about each topic the Journal explores.


1. "Let it rise." The Economist, October 2008.

2. "IBM Invests Nearly $400 Million on Cloud Computing Centers in U.S. and Japan." IBM Press Release, 1 August 2008 (www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/24788.wss).

3. ibid.