Mental models can really help you simplify how you think about a problem. One of the more useful mental models I’ve come across while working across cloud solutions is:
… Move to the Cloud, Use the Cloud, and Be the Cloud.
It’s a simple way to think about the role you play in the cloud arena, or the role the cloud plays in your arena. Here’s a quick rundown of each one …
Move to the Cloud
A “move to the cloud” leverages the cloud by moving software or data to the cloud. An example of this would be building out Software as a Service offerings.
Use the Cloud
Using the cloud is taking advantage of the cloud through consumption of some cloud services. This could be using another company’s SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS offerings to take advantage of the cloud benefits. You can benefit from the elastic capacity and increased flexibility.
Be a Cloud
Be a cloud refers to building cloud offerings for consumption by other partners (internal or external), or consumers. This is can be a SOA implementation, or building out a Private Cloud and offering services internally to other organizations within the same company.
It’s a simple model, but I think it helps bring clarity to the table when people are talking about their cloud strategy.