by Luc Van Haver
I would like to share with you some thoughts on the subject, written by Wendy White (@Wendywhite)
What are the Top 3 Things I need to Know about the Cloud today?
1) The cloud is ready for duty at big companies. The technology has evolved and become a lot more sophisticated than it was even a year ago. There’s been a general acceleration of capacity: more sophisticated software and computing power; more storage; faster bandwidth. Usage is becoming more common, with Gartner predicting that half of enterprises will have a “hybrid cloud”- a public cloud/private cloud combo – by 2017 (https://www.gartner.com/doc/2637515/forecast-it-services–q).
2) Yes, it’s hyped, but a lot of the hype is true, or at least rooted in corporate reality. A lot of companies really are doing highly advanced IT work a lot more quickly than they used to, and at lower cost.
3) It’s more than just technology. The cloud represents a different approach to IT on many levels. Yes, the cloud is technically about using someone else’s computers in a remote location and paying for use, not hardware. But, it’s also about rethinking the whole way that IT can serve the needs of the business. The technology enables a change in traditional IT and business roles in figuring out how to be most innovative and competitive.
Give me two good reasons to do it.
1) IT projects can be rolled out more quickly – The cloud can help us launch operational initiatives and M&A projects faster than can be done with existing IT. We save the time it usually takes to acquire servers, build data centers, and set up software. A lot of that can be done automatically and more or less instantly with the cloud.
2) CapX gets cut – The cloud helps us reduce capital expenditures on IT infrastructure and data centers. The equipment and network we use are on someone else’s balance sheet. The cloud is a “pay as you go” not “pay up front.” When you need more capacity, like on “Cyber Monday,” you increase your cloud service. On Tuesday, you can turn it off. We can conserve cash for other uses.
Give me two things to be worried about.
- Keeping consistent with security – While the hype about the cloud being insecure has faded, it can still be a challenge to ensure a consistent security framework across bi-modal, or hybrid IT infrastructures. (The old stuff and the new stuff.) When talking to a cloud service provider, find out whether they can utilize a common security model across physical and virtual machines. A third party security tool, or a different could provider, might be needed.
- Execution and organizational challenges – There can be unexpected costs and delays if a cloud project is not well planned. Some cloud service providers expect us to do a lot more of the in-depth technical work than we’re expecting, even though it’s on their equipment. Expert guidance on cloud projects can help mitigate this risk. Not every company has people on staff who really know how to make the most of it. For instance, the cloud tends to push software developers and IT operations managers into a single unit, which can cause organizational stress. The best approach is to combine a move to the cloud with an overall change management program.
What is the takeaway idea for me in all of this?
Cloud computing presents an opportunity to be more agile and operate more economically, especially with regard to CapX. At the same time, it represents an organizational shift to a new way of doing IT. It can bear fruit if it’s thought through as a complete IT/organizational change.”
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