|By Andi Mann||
|April 2, 2012 04:15 AM EDT||
Key issues can make or break an organization's strategic cloud adoption. The intersection of cloud computing with business strategy, Big Data, vendor lock-in, globalization, collaboration, security, licensing, virtualization, confidence, and the ‘new normal' can act as huge points of concern. So I put down some thoughts on this, and ended up - in no particular order - with the following 11 tips for the successful adoption of cloud computing:
1. The ‘new normal' makes cloud mandatory, not optional - the growing gap between flat (or down) IT budgets and the increasing business demand for innovation, new services, and growth is not sustainable. Any CIO who does nothing about this gap will be out of work - because they failed to deliver to business need, or because the business simply did it themselves. Cloud fills the gap by using time, money, and resources far more efficiently than legacy IT can, so IT can deliver business needs despite the ‘new normal'.
2. Business and IT need to get together to approach cloud strategically - this is not the time to stick your finger in the air and go whichever way the wind is blowing, or choose a cloud service just because a vocal staff member has tried it and likes it. You may get away with guesswork for dev/test, or for applications that don't really matter, but not for mission-critical business services. Take a strategic view, focus on business goals, make intentional decisions on which clouds you will use, where, when, and why.
3. Budget reduction is not the best reason to use cloud - indeed, it may not even be a good reason. Various studies have shown that cloud does not always reduce overall IT costs, and in many or even most cases it actually costs more over the long term. However, cloud makes it possible to pursue a vast range of new revenue-generating activities, plus it makes businesses faster and more agile in responding to market demands, competitive pressures, and new business opportunities. This is why most CIOs say they are investing in cloud for mobility, agility, and flexibility more than for simple cost reduction.
4. Cloud is not an outcome, it is an enabler - it lets you capitalize on new business opportunities like rapid innovation, social media, workforce mobility, BYOD, new market penetration, and more by providing essential technology features that underpin these efforts - like agility, scalability, geographic mobility, accessibility, availability and cost efficiency. But cloud doesn't make these opportunities happen by itself. Cloud is not a silver bullet - it still takes work to deliver business outcomes, and without the right roadmap for business service innovation, cloud is just another technology for IT to toy with (and for business to pay for).
5. Cloud is not a monolith - there is a wide range of cloud services, a veritable ‘cloud of clouds' available to fill business needs, delivered by multiple service providers (and your own IT department), and you do not need to just choose one. You may use SaaS applications like Salesforce.com or Intuit; infrastructure from Amazon or Rackspace; and cloud platforms from Microsoft or Google or VMware. You may build your own cloud using Citrix, VMware, Oracle, and more. You may even subscribe to a ‘community cloud' that is shared just by your peers. Most importantly, based on most current data on cloud adoption, you will probably do all of the above. Be prepared to adopt, manage, and secure this ‘cloud of clouds' - a ‘one-cloud' policy will never be realistic.
6. Cloud will not replace traditional IT - at least not for mid to large enterprises with a legacy investment - nor should it. The key will be choosing the right cloud(s) for each business need, and ensuring smooth integration with other cloud services and existing technology investments. In most cases integrating cloud with existing business assets provides better return on investment than a new cloud silo, and opens up more opportunities for leverage.
7. The idea that cloud is not secure is a myth - but like many great myths, there is a grain of truth behind it. Cloud can absolutely be as secure as an in-house data center, and in many cases it can be *more* secure. But this does not happen by accident, and does not happen just because you trust a third-party vendor to be ‘safe.' You need to work at it, and provide your own security layer on top of any cloud application. If you don't - and if you simply trust your provider to do it for you - don't be surprised when your company is the newest target of hacking attacks, data leaks, or identity loss.
8. The business service is still your responsibility - regardless of how you source a cloud computing service - from the in-house IT department, from a niche cloud provider, or from one of the big players. In all cases, you still need to maintain accountability for the full user experience. Cloud providers don't know your business, don't prioritize your applications, and are not the face of your business to the customer - they are commodity merchants. The quality of experience - and the interface to your customer - is still up to you.
9. SLAs are no substitute for preparation and contingency - in fact, many (most?) public cloud SLAs are toothless. Providers rarely volunteer to admit their breaches, and even when they do there is little to no recourse or restitution. While some exceptional cloud providers do provide solid SLAs, do not assume your provider will handle problems for you. Have your own a backup and recovery plan, monitor your own service performance, actively ensure your own data and identity protection. Most commodity cloud providers don't do this for you, at any price.
10. Be careful of cloud vendor lock-in - because while part of the beauty of cloud is new-found mobility and agility, if you get locked into a proprietary platform you will forgo a lot of that business benefit. Look for cloud options that allow you to get in and out relatively easily - or find management capabilities that make the underlying infrastructure irrelevant, by allowing you to focus on business services instead, regardless of where they are hosted.
11. Cloud does not mean we should forget all we knew - because even with cloud computing - or perhaps especially - IT still needs to apply many tried-and-true disciplines, like financial management, asset management, security and compliance, problem management, and more. You still need to deal with skills and resourcing. You still need to care about service levels, response times, and availability. The IT industry has grown into a lot of solid discipline for very good reasons. Cloud offers a ‘fresh start' to overcome a lot of IT problems, but it doesn't mean everything we knew is suddenly wrong.
So what do you reckon? Are these tips useful for you? What tips did I miss? I would love to see your comments either below or on Twitter.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Jul. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,998
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,020
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 2, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 805
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Jul. 2, 2015 09:24 AM EDT Reads: 501
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jul. 2, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,291
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
Jul. 2, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 909
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 1, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,106
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jul. 1, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,160
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Jul. 1, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 981
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
Jun. 29, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,728
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jun. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,212
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,561
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jun. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,264
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jun. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,280
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Jun. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,268
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jun. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,149
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jun. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,052
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jun. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,206
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 22, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,862
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,924