|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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Feb. 9, 2016 06:15 AM EST Reads: 169
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 9, 2016 05:30 AM EST Reads: 151
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 9, 2016 05:00 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:45 AM EST Reads: 178
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:45 AM EST
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 9, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 139
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 8, 2016 03:00 PM EST Reads: 580
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 8, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 383
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 8, 2016 12:45 PM EST Reads: 363
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 8, 2016 10:45 AM EST Reads: 392
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 8, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 165
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Feb. 8, 2016 09:15 AM EST Reads: 212
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 7, 2016 12:00 PM EST Reads: 358
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 740
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 800
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 2, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 422
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 863
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 955
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
Jan. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 740
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
Jan. 31, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,159