The use of cloud resources is basic — so basic, in fact, that it's difficult for me to see why others find it difficult. Despite their experience and smarts, many need help, which is why I can make a living as a cloud consultant. We all win.
Unfortunately, other people also hear the cloud music and want to crash the party. As the use of the cloud broadens, these party-crashers are showing up in droves, claiming they can help you implement the cloud. Watch out for these three types of self-described but woefully unqualified cloud experts.
1. The "I've been doing cloud for 30 years" guy
I understand that you used time-share systems back in the day, but trying to link that experience with modern cloud-based systems is flat-out ridiculous. I'm old, too. I've used time-share systems. They aren't clouds.
Cloud computing is about the use of granular services that are formed and reformed into solutions. These services include storage, compute, and data. These services can be self-provisioned or autoprovisioned, and they can scale to massive loads. That's not time-sharing, as I recall it.
2. The "it's illegal to use the cloud" guy
This one sometimes goes by the alias "the cloud is always insecure." This guy's assumption is that some sort of regulation exists that makes the use of cloud illegal in a particular business segment. Typically, this guy frames his arguments around data management issues.
Although regulations control the use of some data, most types of data can be managed by cloud-based systems, generally speaking. Indeed, considering the number of colocation and managed service providers that hold data, as well as data exchanges, if offsite data were illegal the cops would have busted down the doors long ago.
3. The "the cloud is always a fit" guy
This guy sells the cloud like crack on a street corner. He has to say "Amazon Web Services" at least 10 times in any meeting, and the cloud is his response to any business problem.
The cloud is a great fit for many needs, but it's not always the best solution. When you overapply this technology — or any technology, for that matter -- you're bound to fall on your face a few times. The proper use of cloud-based technology is an architectural decision. It's not a decision around doing what's cool or what's trendy.