Book Review: ‘Cloudonomics: The Business Value Of Cloud Computing’

CloudU Notebooks is a weekly blog series that explores topics from the CloudU certificate program in bite sized chunks, written by me, Ben Kepes, curator of CloudU. How-tos, interviews with industry giants and the occasional opinion piece are what you can expect to find. If that’s your cup of tea, you can subscribe here.

One of the most interesting areas in the conceptual discussion of the cloud is the economic impacts it can bring. The conversation is so much broader than just cost savings; there is a deep and complex series of discrete topics to look at relating to both costs and ROI relating to cloud. One of the CloudU chapters looks specifically at the topic of the economics of cloud. This chapter was influenced heavily by the undisputed leader in the field, Joe Weinman. Not only did Weinman coin the general term used to describe the topic-area, “Cloudonomics,” but he also recently published the definitive guide to the topic “Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing.”

Weinman is an intellectual who brings a scholarly approach to the work – in the books 350-plus pages, he runs through a huge amount of data, case studies, economic analogues and theoretical concepts that all back up his assertions. Weinman does an excellent job of capturing all the different subject areas remotely related to Cloudonomics – he goes from a clarification of what cloud is and how it comes about to deployment strategies, scaling factors, demand forecasting, performance aspects alongside the culture impacts and aspects of a move to the cloud. It really is the definitive tome – a reference guide that, despite being focused on an area of rapid and massive change, will be the go-to publication for years to come.

One of the really compelling aspects is the number of case studies and analogies from unrelated industries that Weinman uses to illustrate the concepts he espouses. He does so without presuppositions – Weinman himself is a cloud believer and part of the tight-knit Clouderati group, but that doesn’t color his writing, rather the determinations he comes to are worked through from actuality as opposed to some dogmatic “cloud is the answer to all problems” mindset.

The book is a useful publication for a vast variety of people. Technical folks will like its thorough analysis; anyone in the C-suite will enjoy its robust business-logic; and the vendor side will find lots of useful content that they can use to justify one or another of their products or services. It is also useful to an entire new generation of technology and business people who will be expected to work with and on the cloud – my 12-year-old son is (strange as it may sound) interested in cloud computing and he’s slowly working through the book as the picture shows. If a 350-page manifesto full of deep economic theories can hold the attention of a 12-year-old, that is a sure indication that Weinman has done an excellent job creating a compelling and eminently useful book.