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Six Questions Every Executive Should
Ask about Cloud Computing
Jeanne G. Harris and Allan E. Alter

January 2010

Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

Business leaders need to evaluate what cloud           ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

Figure 1. A guide to cloud terminology

The term “cloud...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

capacity. The basic technologies can                   ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

That represents $1 billion in opportunity              ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

Not every company will be able to                      ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

Organizations need to know how                         ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

What are my next steps?                                ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

Notes                                                  ...
Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing

About the authors                                      ...
Copyright © 2010 Accenture
All rights reserved.

Accenture, its logo, and
High Performance Delivered
are trademarks of Acc...
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  1. 1. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing Jeanne G. Harris and Allan E. Alter January 2010 Research Note
  2. 2. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing Business leaders need to evaluate what cloud For businesspeople, cloud computing can seem almost magical: plenty computing can do for their business, and how of computing power; no expensive it can affect competition in their industry. IT infrastructure. Cloud computing lets companies bypass the expense and Asking the right questions is the place to start. bother of buying, installing, operating, maintaining and upgrading the networks and computers found in data centers. No business executive today can evaluate its potential, costs and risks. Instead of licensing software, users ignore cloud computing.1 Many global With so many issues to explore, decision tap into a service when it’s needed organizations—including Citigroup, makers can easily succumb to “analysis for as long as it’s needed. All that is Eli Lilly, and Starbucks—are already paralysis” or the temptation to abandon required is a broadband Internet using it to analyze data, provide their inquiry to the IT department. connection, and a phone or personal applications to employees and run But cloud computing is too important computer with a browser. As with special projects.2 Media giants Time for such missteps. cable TV or a phone service, organiza- Warner and Disney are using cloud tions pay by the kind and amount of computing to reengineer their processes How can senior executives come services used, plus any additional for distributing digital content.3 And to a timely, focused and productive fees. (Some cloud services like social more cloud services will soon be avail- evaluation of cloud computing? networks and Web mail are available able, as established IT and telecom Accenture has identified six key at no cost, but these are intended for providers such as Microsoft, IBM, questions business decision makers individuals instead of organizations.) Accenture, Fujitsu, KDDI, China Mobile should ask about this still-new and SingTel join cloud pioneers like phenomenon. By focusing on these But the absence of a data center on- Google, Amazon and questions, executives can narrow site doesn’t mean cloud computing is their inquiry without succumbing to a matter of hocus-pocus. At the other But along with promise, cloud com- superficiality, and start to identify end of the Internet connection are puting generates difficult questions. opportunities and risks for their own computing clouds—supersized data While it promises to deliver a wide organization. centers containing tens of thousands and powerful range of capabilities, of servers hosting web applications. its potential uses are exceptionally Some cloud providers even house broad and difficult to foretell. Further, What is it, and how does them in cargo ship containers.6 Clouds it will affect how computing is done it work? are designed so that processing power and managed, how information is can be added simply by attaching controlled and the economics of At its most basic level, cloud computing more servers; software can be run business technology. The technology’s allows users, wherever they are, to on any available server with excess novelty and the hype found in some obtain computing capabilities through media stories make it even harder to the Internet from a remote network of servers. (Back to IT 101 briefly: A server is a computer that provides applications to other computers.)5 (See Figure 1 for a summary of different kinds of clouds.) 2 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing Figure 1. A guide to cloud terminology The term “cloud computing” originated as a twist on “computing cloud,” an easy-to-draw way to portray a group of computers or the Internet itself in a diagram. Today, cloud computing has come to encompass several kinds of services, and is often confused with other technologies. Synonyms • Internet computing: seen by some as more fitting than “cloud” or “utility” computing • On-demand computing: popularized by IBM • Utility computing: popularized by author Nicholas Carr Cloud services • Software as a service: cloud-based applications • Infrastructure as a service: processing and storing data • Process as a service: business processes built upon cloud applications • Platform as a service: developing, testing, and running applications on clouds or for clouds Cloud providers • Public cloud: a cloud made available to the public by a company • Private cloud: a cloud maintained for a single organization • Community cloud: a cloud shared by groups of businesses or organizations • Government cloud: a cloud maintained by a government agency for public use Foundation technologies • Virtualization: a way to run more applications or store more data on fewer computers • Grid computing: divides processing among computers; enables speed and scalability • Broadband Internet: enables vast amounts of data to quickly travel over the Internet • Web 2.0: applications and technologies that make the Web a vehicle for collaboration • Service-oriented architecture: designs systems to act like interconnected services Antecedents • Time sharing: how companies shared mainframes in the early days of computing • Application service providers: the first software services accessed via the Web 3 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing capacity. The basic technologies can What specific benefits Clouds offer extraordinarily flexible be duplicated by any company. That can clouds bring to my resources too. They are scalable makes it possible for organizations organization? because of their technical design. to build smaller “private clouds” for Clouds can be summoned quickly their own use, or for a consortium to Many of the potential benefits of when needed, grow by assigning more build “industry” or “community” clouds cloud computing have already been servers to a job, then shrink or disap- for its members. Clouds the size of identified. (See Figure 2.) Bargain pear when no longer needed. That those run by Microsoft, Amazon and prices on cloud services are a big part makes clouds well suited for sporadic, Google require additional technologies of their allure. For example, Eli Lilly seasonal or temporary work, for fin- so they can support many millions paid Amazon Web Services only ishing tasks at lightning speed and of users around the world without $89 to analyze data on a drug under processing vast amounts of data, and becoming sluggish.7 development. To do the job them- for software development and testing selves, its researchers would have projects. Clouds can also supplement This description barely skates on had to buy 25 servers.8 Add the savings conventional systems when demand the surface of the underlying com- from eliminating the cost of servers, for computing exceeds supply. And plexities. But for business leaders, it software licenses, maintenance fees, since they are an operational expense, gets at the crucial point: with cloud data center space, electricity and IT cloud services can often bypass the computing (except for private clouds), labor, and the benefits of replacing a capital-expense approval process, and the major burdens and expenses of IT large up-front capital expense with thus be quicker to procure than con- power become someone else’s problem. a low, pay-for-use operating expense, ventional systems. In Eli Lilly’s case, and the financial appeal of cloud using clouds shaved three months off computing is obvious. the IT budget and approval process. Figure 2. Initial opportunities for using clouds Accenture has identified many different possible uses for cloud computing. Business continuity (storage) New business Easy • Extensive storage • Provide IT support for • Backup and recovery new ventures Software development and testing Batch and data intensive applications • Software development and • One-off applications that don’t rely testing environment on real-time response • Performance testing • Data and high performance intensive • Non production projects applications (financial risk modeling, Ease of implementation Desktop productivity • R&D activities simulation, data compression, • Web 2.0 applications • Reduced time to market graphics rendering…) • Workgroup applications • New back-office applications Geographic expansion • Office suites • Replicate standard processes in Peak load demands • Email and calendaring new locations and branches. • New business activities • Applications with peak-loads Sensitive applications • Seasonal websites • Mission critical applications • Applications with • Regulation-protected data scalability needs (HIPAA, SOX, PCI…) Legacy • Specific existing infrastructure • Complex legacy systems Hard Value to the enterprise High value Source: Accenture Technology Labs 4 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing That represents $1 billion in opportunity Can I depend on clouds to So executives need to look closely costs avoided, when translated to faster save my organization money? into the costs of cloud computing for time to market. themselves. They should seek rigorous CIOs say they are finding real savings ROI case studies based on actual Clouds, paradoxically, can both decen- from cloud computing. Accenture cloud usage, rather than estimates of tralize technical innovation and impose estimates its own IT organization could anticipated savings. Hardware, after centralized control on IT resources. save up to 50 percent of its hosting all, is a relatively small component of The barrier to entry for providing an costs annually by transferring most of data center costs. They need to uncover innovative IT service has never been its applications to infrastructure clouds.10 the hidden management, transition, lower. Any programmer could create Bechtel’s CIO benchmarked the com- and usage costs that reveal themselves a software service using free or low- pany’s internal data center and storage only when companies start to work cost development tools, host it on a against those of Google, Amazon and with the technology. They need to public cloud, and quickly make it, concluding he could look into the costs of using each kind available to all. Clouds are also a fast greatly reduce his per unit costs by of cloud service separately, since the and easy way for organizations to creating an internal cloud.11 pricing and cost involved in using impose a standard set of applications different kinds of cloud services all or processes. They only need pay for But executives should not take most vary. And they need to work with the a cloud service and then require promises and projections of cloud sav- finance department to develop a con- employees to go online and use it. ings at face value. The articles about sistent and acceptable approach to companies that have saved money measuring the costs and return from Clouds are still too new to fully under- rarely explain how these savings were clouds. Only then can they reliably stand their benefits. Business leaders calculated. Several apparently rigorous estimate the savings. should begin by looking for specific analyses of cloud savings have been benefits for their own organization— attacked as unrealistic.12 Furthermore, ways to reduce costs, improve processes while most organizations that use How will clouds affect and more. They should also investigate clouds report that they are saving the way my organization when clouds do not make sense. For money as expected, not all have. In competes? example, migrating a complex legacy one study of software-as-a-service system would require a costly redesign (SaaS) users, only about half of the Companies that have built massive to operate on a cloud, and projects respondents reported a positive return clouds are already transforming requiring a guaranteed response time on investment from SaaS, while a the nature of competition. Google’s should be avoided, since guarantees quarter found the cost was greater advertising-supported search engine are risky when data has to run over the than they had budgeted.13 And while and tools and Amazon’s online retail Internet.9 Executives are likely to find Accenture’s internal IT organization operations are all made possible the greatest benefit by envisioning new has moved several internal applica- by the computing clouds created by processes, applications, services and tions to the cloud, it has not done so those companies. Cloud-based con- offerings that had been too difficult or in several cases because the cost of sumer applications like Facebook and expensive for the organization. hosting the system internally, on an iPhone applets are driving innovation optimized U.S.-based data center or in in unpredictable ways. one of its Indian facilities, was less than that of an external cloud service. 5 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing Not every company will be able to develop more lucrative pricing plans.16 Finally, executives should remember use clouds to become the next Google, Low-fare airlines around the world are that clouds can promote cooperation but other opportunities abound. Some using reservation and other business- as well as competition. Think of how companies are using clouds to create process services run on a private cloud an industry cloud, by providing a new products and services. For example, operated by Navitaire (an Accenture common back-office platform, could Nasdaq is offering investors new subsidiary). Genentech and Rentokil enable information to be shared cloud-based tools to analyze trades, Initial, which offers a variety of build- between hospitals, doctors, nursing capitalizing on its database of stock ing-maintenance and courier services, homes, insurers, regulators and transaction data. Best Buy is preparing are among the organizations that are patients in the US health care system. for the day DVDs are obsolete by reducing IT costs via cloud-based launching a new online movie-stream- office applications.17 In time, low-cost As with benefits, the ways clouds ing service that works through a cloud providers in other industries may be will change competition are not yet managed by a third party.14 especially keen to find ways to use fully understood. Strategists will need clouds to further reduce the cost of to perform a thorough assessment Organizations can also use clouds doing business. to understand how clouds can help to quickly engage with customers. them compete or threaten existing Starbucks used clouds to develop a Clouds will not only enable strategy, businesses. CIOs will have to track the web site promoting volunteerism in but change competitive environments. evolution of the technology to ensure just four weeks, timed to Barack Organizations will have to learn to that strategic ambitions do not outrun Obama’s inauguration. Designed to thrive in a world of Internet giants cloud computing’s capabilities. scale easily, it handled three million with extraordinarily large computing hits on its first day alone.15 By using capacities. The Google cloud processes the speed, power and easy access 20 petabtyes of data a day—the equiv- What risks must my of cloud applications, start-ups and alent of 400,000 PCs with 50 gigabyte organization manage? established companies alike can hard drives.18 Few companies will attempt to seize first mover advantage choose to build the massive clouds Technologists and agencies have in a new market, enter an adjacent that run these services, but many must already identified many data protec- market or new region, and displace compete with or rely on organizations tion and privacy risks connected with slower-moving, less innovative rivals. that do. Failure to do so, as many cloud computing.19 CIOs are concerned Every strategist will need to under- media, music and conventional retailers that their data could be stolen by stand when clouds can provide a com- are finding, can devastate profits. hackers, mixed with data from their petitive advantage, and when their cloud providers’ other customers, or current IT infrastructure becomes a Executives also need to consider released by mistake. Any of the above competitive disadvantage. cloud computing in a global context. would expose organizations to public Enterprises in developing nations may embarrassment and lawsuits as well Clouds can also help companies use cloud computing to compensate as the time and expense of cleaning improve their efficiency and decision for immature or incomplete IT infra- data and undoing other damage.20 making, and make them more compet- structure, much as they used mobile Less-well understood is how local itive and profitable. BT Group is using telephony to offset a lack of land laws and regulations apply to cloud cloud-based analytics for revenue lines. Developing nations may also computing, especially among multi- optimization, by analyzing hundreds promote clouds as a low cost way to national companies. of millions of call-center records to provide IT services to small or start-up businesses. Tomorrow’s global com- petitor or partner could well be built on clouds. 6 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing Organizations need to know how and back up their services with stronger Executives should discover which laws that restrict the storage of guaranteed service level agreements, risks apply to their organizations and customer and employee data, or that it is unlikely that enterprises will use how to ameliorate them. They should open their data to government sub- them to replace their financial systems find out which cloud service providers poenas and searches, affect cloud or to process orders during the holiday they can trust, and whether their computing. For example, European shopping season. own organizations’ data management companies needs to understand how practices expose them to risk.24 And they could violate EU regulations, or IT managers will uncover other they should not forget that clouds come under the jurisdiction of the challenges. For example, how many can provide security benefits as well USA Patriot Act, if they use American sources of data can a cloud-based as risks. (For more on security risks— cloud service providers or European application draw upon from before it and benefits—see Figure 3.) providers that move data to a server becomes sluggish? Will it be more in the United States.21 challenging to integrate data when it must be shared between cloud Problems with reliability, performance services or with their complex conven- and other technical issues present tional systems? How do they make IT-related risks. Clouds do fail: even sure they can easily reclaim the data prominent cloud service providers have held for them by one cloud provider, suffered service outages or slowdowns.22 so they can easily switch to another?23 Unless cloud providers can match the IT organizations must find answers uptime performance of large organiza- to questions like these if they are to tions with mature IT infrastructures, deploy clouds more broadly. Figure 3. Cloud security risks and benefits Executives have focused on the possible risks of cloud computing, but the technology also offers potential security benefits. Top security risks Top security benefits • Loss of governance: loss of control on issues affecting • Scale: advanced security measures are more affordable security to cloud provider when done on a large scale, allowing cloud providers • Lock-in: lack of tools, procedures, data formats or to invest more in security interfaces to guarantee portability • Market differentiation: security concerns motivate • Isolation failure: failure of mechanisms that separate providers to improve security practices data of organizations sharing a cloud • Standardized interfaces: large cloud providers can offer • Compliance risks: providers unable to prove compliance, a standardized, open interface to managed security or permit auditing services providers • Management interface compromise: exploitation of • Resilience: ability of clouds to reallocate resources for browser and remote access vulnerabilities to gain access authentication, encryption, etc. to protected data • Audit and evidence-gathering: clouds can readily • Data protection: data handled in an insecure or unlawful analyze possible breaches and generate logs way by provider • Updates: timely patches, updates and security settings • Insecure or incomplete data deletion: data not fully can be rapidly rolled out or adjusted wiped out when requested • Resource concentration: cheaper and easier to control • Malicious insider: damage by renegade cloud system access to one large facility than many smaller ones administrators and security providers Source: “Cloud Computing: Benefits, risks and recommendations for information security,” the European Network and Information Security Agency, November 2009 7 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing What are my next steps? Keep cloud efforts on track. Make Buy cautiously, appraise frequently. sure cloud computing receives the It’s too early to predict who the major Cloud computing is too important a focused thinking, planning and follow- cloud providers will be in a few years, technology to leave entirely to tech- up it requires. Use the answers to what capabilities they will deliver, nologists. While the work of migrating these six questions to identify and when they will deliver them, and from conventional to cloud computing address immediate business needs that how well. So when selecting cloud is likely to fall on the shoulders of lend themselves to cloud computing providers, carefully consider whether the CIO, other senior executives have and longer-term opportunities for they have the potential to be a desirable important roles to play. To make sure clouds, to develop a plan for using partner in the future. Even after they an organization maximizes benefits public and private clouds, and to gain are chosen, evaluate your partners and minimizes risks, executives must the capabilities the plan requires. on their financial stability, as well as do the following: Make sure the organization senses and their ability to improve functionality responds appropriately to the impact and service levels, to integrate data Ask hard questions and demand clouds are having on their industry across different technology platforms data-based analyses regarding and competitive environment. and cloud services, and to deliver on cost savings. Don’t assume automatic their promises. and substantive cost savings. Do Set the standards for success. an ROI analysis. Consider conversion Provide the necessary oversight to the It will take time for organizations and ongoing costs as well as savings. IT organization. Make sure goals and to transition to cloud computing. Don’t be intimidated by the jargon. deliverables are well understood, and Executives are still grappling with Experiment or pilot on low-hanging projects are well aligned with business its risks and possibilities, and the cost fruit such as workgroup applications, needs. Clarify how the value from of writing off current IT investments. or on a non-mission critical, non- cloud computing is to be determined: Still, a transition to a hybrid of cloud integrated application. Then be ready which quantitative and qualitative and conventional computing is under to scale once you’ve proven the benefits benefits are sought? And consider what way. The capabilities and potential are worth it. else constitutes success besides value savings from clouds are too great to achieved and projects completed: skills ignore. In addition, software developers Establish a clear governance structure developed, partnerships established, and venture capitalists will be drawn for cloud computing. Many organiza- and risks addressed. to this new market. The low develop- tions have rules and structures in ment cost, short development cycle, place that govern how IT decisions are Provide the necessary support. and quick return on cloud services are shared between line and IT executives. Besides financial resources and tech- irresistible. This means future IT Use them (and if they don’t exist, cre- nical talent, support other activities advances and innovations are much ate them) to decide who inside and that will underpin the success of cloud more likely to be based on clouds outside the IT organization should be initiatives. For example, organizations than conventional computing. The engaged in decisions on cloud com- may benefit from a community of critical issue isn’t whether cloud com- puting, and what decision-making practice or a cloud program office puting will become a fundamental rights and responsibilities they have. to develop the skills and share the technology in the next decade. It is experiences of people engaged in how companies will make money from cloud projects. the capabilities it offers. 8 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing Notes 5 Accenture formally defines cloud computing 18 Jeffrey Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat, 1 “What the Enterprise Needs to Know About as “the dynamic provisioning of IT capabilities “MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Cloud Computing,” Accenture Technology from third parties over a network.” See “What Large Clusters,” Communications of the ACM, Labs, October 2009; “Gartner Identifies the the Enterprise Needs to Know about Cloud January 2008; Peter Vajgel, “Needle in a Haystack: Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010,” Computing,” Accenture Technology Labs. Efficient Storage of Billions of Photos,” Gartner, Inc. press release, October 20, 2009; 6 David Katz, “Tech Titans Building Boom,” Facebook Engineering’s notes, April 30, 2009; “2009年云 算中国 题 道” IEEE Spectrum, February 2009; Maija Palmer, “Zoinks! 20 hours of Video Uploaded Every (“Cloud Computing in 2009 Forum dossier”), “Where the Internet Lives,” Financial Times, Minute!” Broadcasting Ourselves: The Official Chinese Institute of Electronics Cloud Computing November 17, 2009. YouTube Blog, May 20, 2009; “Y,000,000,000u Experts Association,; 7 Luiz André Barroso and Urs Hölzle, The Tube,” October 9, 2009, http://youtube- “The Cloud Wars: $100+ billion at stake,” Datacenter as a Computer: An Introduction Merrill Lynch, May 7, 2008; Avenade 2009 to the Design of Warehouse-Scale Machines 19 “Having Confidence in Cloud Computing: Global Survey of Cloud Computing, (Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2009). Addressing Enterprise Security Concerns,”; Laurianne McLaughlin, 8 Condon, ibid. Accenture Technology Labs, 2009; “Cloud “Cloud Computing Survey: IT Leaders See 9 Accenture Technolocy Labs, ibid. Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations Big Promise, Have Big Security Questions,” 10 “Pressure Performance: 2009 IT Report,” for Information Security,” European Network CIO Magazine, October 21, 2008. Accenture CIO Organization, November 2009. and Information Security Agency, November 2 Eric Auchard, “ Signs Citigroup 11 “CTO Roundtable: Cloud Computing,” 2009; “Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View Deal,”, November 15, 2007; Communications of the ACM, Volume 52, of Cloud Computing,” UC Berkeley Reliable “ Powers Starbucks Campaign Number 8 (2009),; Adaptive Distributed Systems Laboratory, to Mobilize Americans in National Service,” Gray Hall, “Bechtel Harnesses the Cloud: February 10, 2009; Robert Gellman, Privacy press release, January 21, 2009, Case Study of an Enterprise Cloud,” in the Clouds: Risks to Privacy and Confidentiality; Ron Condon, from Cloud Computing (World Privacy “The Opportunities and Risks of Cloud 12 “Cloud Coockoo Land Computing,” dotfuture- Forum, 2009). Computing Services,”,; Andy Greenberg, 20 CIO Cloud Computing Survey,” CIO Magazine, February 23, 2009. “Deflating the Cloud,”, April 15, 2009 June 2009; “Clouds Beyond the Hype: 3 Ethan Smith, “Disney Touts a Way to Ditch the 13 “SaaS Returns Bolster Cloud Computing’s Positioning for the New Era of Enterprise IT,” DVD,” Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2009. Promise,” Computer Economics, March 2009. presentation by Frank Gens, International 4 Ben Worthen and Justin Scheck, “Tech Giants 14 Penny Crosman, “Cloud Computing Begins Data Corp. to the Society for Information Ramp Up Their Online Offerings,” Wall Street to Gain Traction on Wall Street,” Wall Street Management Boston chapter, June 11, 2009; Journal, June 22, 2009; “Cloud Services/SaaS: & Technology, January 6, 2009; Galen Gruman, McLaughlin, ibid., Avenade study, ibid. What Telcos Are Doing,” IDC Technology “Early Experiments in Cloud Computing,” 21 Mell and Grance, “Effectively and Securely Assessment, October 2009; “China Mobile, April 7, 2008; Steve Lohr, Using the Cloud Computing Paradigm,” Enters Sphere of Cloud Computing,” Interfax, “Best Buy Prepares for the Post-DVD Era,” presentation by the (U.S.) National Institute November 17, 2009; Bernard Golden, “The, November 3, 2009. of Standards and Technology’s Information State of Cloud Computing in Japan,”, 15 “ Powers Starbucks Campaign Technology Laboratory, May 15, 2009. November 5, 2009; “SingTel to Help Establish to Mobilize Americans in National Service,” 22 Gmail blog, “We Feel Your Pain, and We’re Sorry,” Singapore as a Regional Cloud Computing press release, January 21, 2009; August 11, 2008; Hub,” SingTel press release, July 14, 2009; Charles Babcock, “Salesforce Enticing “From Sidemail to Gmail: A Short History of Chris Preimesberger, “Fujitsu Launches Cloud Customers With Free Edition,” Cloud Computing Outages,” Network World, Services in North America,”,, June 16, 2009. October 12, 2009. December 8, 2009. 16 Jarina D’Auria and Kim Nash, “Early Cloud 23 Tony Konter, “Pulte CIO Has Cloud Horror Adopters Ride Out Hype Cycle,”, Story,”, Sept. 30, 2009. May 27, 2009. 24 Accenture Technology Labs, 17 “Rentokil to Use Google’s Apps Cloud, “Having Confidence,” ibid. Biggest Yet,”, 13 October 2009; Genentech on Google Apps,; Erika Murphy, “City of Angels to Give Cloud Computing a Go,”, October 28, 2009. 9 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Six Questions Every Executive Should Ask about Cloud Computing About the authors About Accenture Jeanne G. Harris (jeanne.g.harris@ Accenture is a global management is a senior executive consulting, technology services and research fellow with the Accenture outsourcing company. Combining Institute for High Performance, and is unparalleled experience, comprehensive based in Chicago. She is the co-author, capabilities across all industries and with Thomas H. Davenport, of business functions, and extensive Competing on Analytics: The New research on the world’s most successful Science of Winning (Harvard Business companies, Accenture collaborates Press, 2007) and, with Davenport with clients to help them become and Robert Morison, of Analytics at high-performance businesses and Work: Smarter Decisions, Better governments. With more than 177,000 Results (Harvard Business Press, 2010). people serving clients in over 120 countries, the company generated net Allan E. Alter (allan.e.alter@ revenues of US$21.58 billion for the is a research fellow fiscal year ended August 31, 2009. Its with the Accenture Institute for High home page is Performance, and is based in Boston. He was formerly an editor with such publications as CIO Magazine and CIO Insight. About the Accenture Institute for High Performance The Accenture Institute for High Performance creates strategic insights into key management issues and macroeconomic and political trends through original research and analysis. Its management researchers combine world-class reputations with Accenture’s extensive consulting, technology and outsourcing experience to conduct innovative research and analysis into how organizations become and remain high-performance businesses. 10 | Accenture Institute for High Performance | Copyright © 2010 Accenture. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Copyright © 2010 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture.