Why the Cloud?
June 1, 2010 - According to analysts, 20% of enterprises will have no capital IT assets by 2012. Those companies are looking at strategies to "rent" resources for the right price to enable employees and business units to have access to resources, applications and data, when and where they need it in an on-demand model. Other businesses are analyzing ways to improve the way they automate existing internal virtualized infrastructures to provide dynamic resources to their company's business constituents while reducing costs and improving agility in the organization. The basis of what companies look for in the cloud; minimizing IT capital and operational expense while delivering required services to their organization.
Why the Cloud? Why are companies viewing the cloud model as strategic? The cloud computing model aligns closely with goals of consolidation, cost reduction, and aligning resources to quickly deliver against business requirements. Cloud computing enables companies to "right size" their IT organizations by delivering services that can be presented as a catalogue item to their internal business organizations to be provisioned as needed and decommissioned based on measurable business rules.
Cloud computing changes the rules of the game in a dramatic fashion, for example, a company may have a surge in on-line orders due to seasonal products, cloud computing enables the organization to quickly ramp up additional servers or resources to handle that demand. Another example is a research organization may have requirements to occasionally consume more computing power for highly computational research applications, cloud computing contains the mechanisms to enable a company to "rent" those computing resources to meet those occasional peak demands. The benefits are that the research organization is able to leverage the resources of a pre-negotiated vendor agreement to meet the deadlines of their project without investing in new capital or affecting core applications and business needs.
A Journey of a Thousand Miles starts with one Step. Although the cloud model of deploying applications, services, infrastructure in a nimble and efficient way is attractive, the path to the cloud is incremental. As a Cloud consultant, we meet with our clients to understand the benefit that they perceive for their business through cloud computing, and help them quantify that into business value. Through the process we begin to paint a picture that captures where they are, what they may gain, and next steps. The challenges that we help identify and address touch many facets of the business including technology, process, regulatory. Once we have that level of understanding, we are able to begin advising on technology, milestones, and incremental means of measuring success. This in turn helps the organization reach their goal of an external or internal cloud model.